Roaster’s tasting notes: A soft bodied, balanced coffee, typical of high quality Colombians. A pleasant butterscotch sweetness with a lingering honeydew fruitiness. Lovely.
The municipality of Inzá is located in the corner of the Department of Cauca, bordering with Tolima and Huila and looking out to the west over the Pacific Ocean. Situated on the “Macizo Colombiano” (the Colombian Plateau), which surrounds the high peaks of Tolima and Huila, the region is an important source of water and wildlife, in addition to being prime coffee growing land.
This coffee was produced by 52 smallholder coffee producers from the region, all of whom are members of the organisation ASORCAFE (Asociación de Productores de Café del Oriente Caucano). ASOCAFE represents, in total, some 450 producers from across the Department. This specific lot, however, has been selected only from growers hailing from the neighbouring sub-municipalities of Pedregal (70%) and San Antonio (30%). Every single microlot delivered was cupped and reserved due to its scoring 85 points or above by the Association’s cupping lab in Pedregal. These stringent standards result in very limited quantities of this exceptional blend of 70%+ Caturra and approx 30% Variedad Colombia being made available for export.
The association of coffee growers, ASORCAFE, was founded in 2004 by 10 coffee growers with an entrepreneurial spirit who were tired of private parchment buyers who were paying them below national prices. The region’s violent past, with a heavy presence of FARC guerrillas, had historically prevented the FNC (Colombia’s excellent national coffee board) and specialty-focused exporters from establishing a presence in the region. As violence has diminished, it has enabled the growers in the region to seek increased access to markets for quality, not only taking advantage of the region’s wonderful coffee-growing conditions but also the economic resource that nearby tourist destinations bring (for instance, the World Heritage Site “Parque Nacional Arqueológico de Tierradentro”). In the future, Mercanta fully expects increasingly great things in coffee from the area.
We found out about this coffee through our good friends at the Santa Barbara Estate, who serve it in their flagship specialty café, Pergamino, in Medellin.