Our third and final limited release of 2019 comes from an area of Colombia that we’re beginning to explore with a little more interest: Nariño.
Historically, our favourite coffee profiles have reliably come from small municipalities within the Huila region, but for the last couple of years we’ve cast the net wider to offer more diversity in our range, as well as try to learn more about the specifics of coffee production in other Colombian regions. Antioquia and Nariño are more recent additions to our portfolio and we’ve been really impressed with the quality and character of the selections made so far.
This particular coffee comes from the municipality of Consaca, just one of several small coffee producing areas that form a ring around Volcán Galeras, located near Pasto in Colombia’s south-west. Lucas German Melo, a third generation coffee farmer, produces coffee on his farm, Finca El Cairo, which is situated between 2,200 and 2,300m.
Five years ago, Lucas gave a high elevation plot of his farm to his young nephew, Eiver Leonardo Gomez Melo, who then began to process his own lots at the same mill as his uncle, located at the farm house just below Finca El Cairo.
Eiver is entirely invested in specialty coffee production, as demonstrated by his submission of his first harvest to the Colombian Cup of Excellence competition in 2014. He’s done so every year since, hoping to learn as much as possible about increasing the quality and marketability of his coffee. In 2018, he managed to place 5th in the national competition with two mixed variety lots, and his uncle Lucas placed 7th with two lots.
This shows just how well their collaboration in processing their coffees from Finca El Cairo is going, as all four lots scored above 90 points.
A little larger than the previous coffees in our three-part series, this particular lot from Eiver still only amounts to 140kg, shipped to us in 4 boxes of 35kg nitrogen-flushed and vacuum-packed green coffee.
We’re finding that the combination of variety, altitude, terroir and processing has resulted in a coffee with a concentrated blackberry core, hinting at warming spices and cherry compote with a very long-lasting yet clean finish. On a blind cupping table, it would be understandable to mistake his coffee for a Kenyan due to the sparkling acidity and berry notes. However, there is also a great depth and warmth to the sweetness in the coffee which brings the cupper back to Nariño.
Thanks to the high elevation and particular terroir gifted by the Galeras volcano nearby, the farm has a great starting point for quality.
Growing Caturra, Typica and Variedad Colombia means that the Melo family have to be aware of the particulars of each variety when it comes to tending the plants, harvesting and post-harvest protocols.
They aim to maximise the quality of each variety they are working with. They also need to be adaptive when processing the coffee, altering parameters like fermentation times when there is a change in the weather.
The first batch of Eiver Gomez Melo will be roasted and dispatched on Tuesday 25th November.
Consaca, Nariño, Colombia
Warming, muscovado sweetness tempers a sparkling acidity, reminding us of pineapple & blackberry. A clean, lingering finish hints at cherry compote.