It has been a few years since we last roasted coffee from Colombia’s Antioquia region. We’re currently grappling with the challenge of roasting two new coffees from the same city in Antioquia, Ciudad Bolívar, from two producers who are part of their local Coffee Growers Association, a group of six farms dedicated to producing high quality coffee through environmentally sustainable practices. Typically, Antioquia is thought of as a region producing quite basic, chocolate driven coffees without particularly unique or fruity profiles. Both our two new coffees from Villa Clabelina and El Encanto prove that Antioquia is home to some coffees with spectacularly lively, sweet and expressive profiles!
This lot is comprised entirely of Castillo, and is grown by Juan Saldarriaga on his farm El Encanto, near the town of Hispania. Juan has two coffee farms of his own, and also helps ro manage a third coffee farm. He spent several years studying Philosophy, History and Politics in Germany, which is where he first met Morten from Nordic Approach, one of our main coffee importing partners.
El Encanto spans around 30 hectares, ranging from 1,380 to 1,600m in altitude. Coffee is planted on around 16 hectares of the farm, with the remaining land dedicated to native forest reservation. As well as Castillo Juan is growing Tabi, Bourbon, Geisha, Caturra, Maragogype and SL28. Everything is separated into distinct blocks and kept separate during the harvest so that he can experiment with different processing and drying techniques. This will enable him to maximise the potential quality for each variety through these post-harvest protocols. Also, by keeping the varieties separated in different blocks on the farm he can assess their field performance and learn which trees fare well and what different pruning and fertiliser applications to make to each distinct variety. One big improvement he has made in recent years to his drying set up is building a large structure with tiered raised beds that can be covered under shade or put out in the sun, giving him better control over the whole process of drying of the parchment coffee.
This particular lot from Juan initially stood out on the cupping table as having very integrated stone fruit notes, and was ultimately a caramel-driven cup. The clarity of flavour and cleanliness in the finish is a testament to great work in the field initially picking the coffee, and then good fermentation and washing protocols. The fact that the coffee is tasting lively and vibrant after travelling to the UK also tells us that the drying practices that Juan is following are preserving his coffee’s characteristics very effectively.
Hispania, Bolívar, Antioquia, Colombia
A fudgey coffee with a plump, ripe sweetness. Milk chocolate and dark berry flavours lead to cooked apple in the finish.