A balanced cup, "Loco" Camacho's coffee shows a nice mingling of blackberry and honey. There's a green herb note too, like sweet basil, that adds an heir of complexity to the profile. Acidity is brilliant, like green apple, cutting through a nutty sweetness of toffee-covered almonds. City to Full City. SO Espresso.
Miguel Camacho is one of several farmers whose coffee we picked up in the Timan region of Huila. In town, he's known as "El Loco" - partly because his larger than life personality, and partly because of his wild looking Jeep, with features that are more like Incredible Hulk than an automobile. When we were in Timan at the end of October, El Loco was our driver. Thankfully for us, his driving didn't quite live up to his name, and so we were safely charioted around town with the drop-top down, entertained by Camacho's occasional hollering over the loudspeaker in his jeep, while taking in the sprawling hills of Timan. His farm is called El Nacedero, and is across the dirt road from his home and drying patio. The 8 hectare farm is planted in Caturra and Variedad Colombia, and he continues to alternate new plantings between the two varietals. He also intermixes planting of corn, which functions as both a production crop as well as a type of shade for the coffee. El Nacedero sits between 1400 and 1600 meters, and Camacho has a pulper on the side of his house, and dried his coffee on an adjacent long, covered drying bed. Before buying this farm 3 years ago, building drying patios was one of his many farm-related jobs. He's covered the ground of his patio with rice husks, and laid mesh on top of that so that the coffee gets good air circulation on the patio floor.
El Loco's coffee is not quite as crazy as the man himself. In fact, our roasted samples at City and City+ showed a well-balanced Colombia, with grounding sweetness, and a bit of top note elegance. The dry grounds have a scent of sugar in the raw and butter cookie. It's sweet, clean, and with an element of baked goods. The wet crust is like honey drizzled almonds, a candy-sweet smell, with spiced apple sauce coming up off the break. There's a "brisk" quality to this coffee from El Loco, like sweetened black and herbal teas, berry infused water, a light, refreshing sweetness. City roasts have a honey and a faint flavor of white grape juice, and a hint of sweet basil. There's a candied nut flavor too, that when taken toward City+ harnesses a nice butter-toffee/brittle candy flavor. The finish is quite clean, with the aforementioned nutty sweetness highlighting the aftertaste. Full City to Full City+ roasts make great SO espresso too - lots of toasted sugar sweetness, and silky mouthfeel.