Roasting date: 07/05/2021
Nearly 90% of the land in Los Andes-Sotomayor is extremely steep. Steep slopes mean farmers like Norman have to work even harder to prevent soil erosion. As climate change leads to more unpredictable weather, longer winters and unusually short summers, coffee producers in regions like Los Andes-Sotomayor are at especially high risk of losing their livelihoods.
After selective handpicking, Norman pulps cherry and leaves it to ferment for 12 hours overnight. The following morning, he washes parchment in clean water and lays it in thin layers on his patio. Norman rakes parchment frequently to ensure even drying. It takes approximately 5 to 8 days for parchment to dry.
The Nariño department sits in the far south of Colombia. It borders Ecuador and the high Andean peaks. It’s closeness to the equator enables coffee growing at very high altitudes. Many farms are located at heights surpassing 2,000 meters above sea level.
While coffee growing is not traditionally seen at such high altitudes, it is possible in Nariño thanks to plenty of sunlight, dependable and frequent rainfall and rich soils. Furthermore, the landscape helps ensure nights do not get too cold for growing cherry. The heat that accumulates in the bottom of canyons rises into the mountains at night, protecting cherry from the extreme nighttime cold that comes with such a high altitude.
There are no less than three volcanoes in the Cordillera Occidental, a branch of the Andes mountains in Colombia. These volcanoes reach altitudes as high as 4,700 meters above sea level. While volcanic activity can sometimes present hazards to life and coffee farming, the rich volcanic soil full of nutrients provides an excellent base for coffee plants. The nutrients, combined with lower temperatures helps to slowly form coffee fruits and concentrate their sugars. The result is complex, sweet and acidic coffees.
Colombia has been producing and exporting coffee renowned for their full body, bright acidity and rich aftertaste, since the early 19th century.
Colombia boasts a wide range of climates and geographic conditions that, in turn, produce their own unique flavors in coffee. This also means that harvest times can vary quite a bit. In fact, between all its different regions, Colombia produces fresh crop nearly all year round.
The increasing focus on the specialty industry is changing the way traders and farmers do business. It is becoming more common for farmers to isolate the highest quality beans in their lots to market separately. These higher quality lots are often sold under specific brands or stories.
Besides its wide variety of cup profiles, Colombia has quickly expanded its certification options over the past 10 years. The most common certifications available are Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ and Organic.