This coffee, from Gerardo Irira and his family, is our first Colombian coffee release of 2019 and comes from the Inzá municipality of Cauca. It is relatively common for many smallholders’ coffees to be grouped together and marketed as a community coffee in Colombia. These can be wonderful, but here we’re excited to work with coffee from a single farm as it provides a clearer picture of just how the work and processes set in place at the farm, resulting in a particular quality in the cup.
The last time we released a filter coffee from the Cauca department, it was from Finca Belgravia; a coffee with deep, driving fruit notes and a full body. This small quantity of coffee produced on the family farm, Finca El Nogal, also delivers dark fruits, a tonne of sweetness and a satisfying, juicy body, and makes a great contrast to the other Colombian coffees we’ve selected this year from Huila and Antioquia, which can be either slim and aromatic, or herbal and chocolatey.
It truly is a family operation at Finca El Nogal. ‘Nogal’ refers to the walnut trees that are planted, alongside plantains, as shade trees for the coffee, whilst also being valuable secondary crops. Gerardo and his wife manage the day-to-day tasks of fertilising, pruning and harvesting the coffee trees, along with Gerardo’s brothers. His father is still overseeing the processing of the coffee once it arrives at the mill, and his mother supervises the drying of the coffee. In recent years they have made some investments to their drying facilities, implementing the use of shaded covers over the patios. This is indicative of the attitude at Finca El Nogal; they are focussing on producing the best quality they can from their two hectares of land planted with coffee, rather than expanding and merely producing more and more coffee. It was after a trip to Huila region by Gerardo a few years ago that the operation became more focussed on improving quality, and the results are self-evident in the cup. This lot of coffee from the farm is spectacularly clean and structured, with a real intensity of flavour and a great sweetness.