Last year marked our first ever trip to Colombia’s Nariño region. Visiting in September, at the time we’d only roasted one coffee from Nariño: Nectario Pascuaza, which we still remember fondly for its more playful and funky fruit profile.
Since then we have also roasted a spectacular small lot of coffee from Eiver Gomez Melo in Consaca, Nariño. This new release marks a return to Buesaco, Nectario’s home town, but rather than a single farmer lot it is comprised of coffees from various smallholders around the town, from whom the lots are too small to take individually.
Collating high quality community lots requires many invested parties. Nordic Approach have been working with Fairfield Trading, with whom we’ve travelled several times in the past in Colombia. They have a couple on the ground, from a coffee producing background, called Nelson & Cielo, who are running a small bodega where lots are received and assessed under the scrutiny of Pedro, the quality analyst, having been produced by smallholders dotted around Buesaco town. They work with a group on the ground called Inconexus, who offer technical support to producers and form a link between them and the buyers at the bodega.
Part of the role that Nordic Approach play in this whole process is to visit the bodegas and cup through the separated lots in order to know which coffees meet their stringent criteria for quality, and can be bulked together, so that the general coffee doesn’t get homogenised and quality lost in large blends.
When you witness the terrain and infrastructure in Nariño it becomes clear just how many parties there need to be involved in producing workable volumes of very special coffees, some of which are cultivated up to 2,200m above sea level. Last year, Colombia only held a Cup of Excellence competition for the north of the country, but the last time coffees from the south featured in 2018 more than 25% of the top-scoring lots (10 of 36) came from the Buesaco town in Colombia’s Nariño region, which is a testament to just how much potential there is here.
Upon our first encounter with this coffee on a sample cupping table, we noted down notes of fudge and lemon candies. Now that the coffee is with us and properly profiled for release, the flavours have become deeper and richer, with some of the characteristic funky sweetness we’ve come to expect from Nariño, as well as riper fruit tones, making for a really satisfying cup.
Buesaco, Nariño, Colombia
Round & comforting, look for flavours of apricot & almond in a balanced cup. A sugary body leaves a sweet, lingering aftertaste like dates & fudge.