This blend of coffee from La Plata is made up from the producers of neighboring towns, or "Veredas" as they're called in Colombia. Hence the name, "Veredas Vecinos", or "neighboring towns". The province of La Plata is located in Southwestern Colombia within the greater Department of Huila. La Plata straddles the Rio Paez, a geographical border between the Departments of Huila and Cauca (Inz is just on the other side).. Like much of this part of Colombia, Huila is home to some very high altitude farms, many in La Plata breaching the 2000 meter mark, and the coffee from this lot harvested from an altitude range of about 1500 to 2000 meters. The way we make up these regional blends is by cupping several samples from the individual farms, separating out those that meet a certain cup criteria, and then blending them together. It's a great benefit to us (and not to mention the cup) having this level of quality control with our Colombian blends. This is a wet-processed coffee, most farmers using old style hand-cranked pulpers, fermenting and washing in the same tank (the first pic is of a dual-use tank), and then drying out on raised, covered beds. Most farms have a healthy amount of Caturra planted, as well as some Timor hybrids (like Variedad Colombia and Tabi) in response to the major leaf rust outbreak in the 1980's.
City+ roasts produce a panela-like raw sugar sweetness, the cane juice reduction produced in many parts of Latin America (we brought back 22kg from a farmer in La Plata on our last visit!). Aromatically, raw sugars are at the forefront, with a pungent accent that smells like sugar toasting in a pan, along with a hint of almond in the steam. This coffee with City roasting just too light for our taste - lacking balance, grain and nut tones overcoming the cup. City+ and even Full City are where a sweetness level that does much to compliment these flavors is achieved. Subtle dried fruit notes like apple and persimmon come up in the cooling cup, accenting the underlying sweetness of raw cane juice. The finish is dotted with hints of barley tea, and a mouthfeel similar to black walnut. Acidity at these roast levels is impressive, mouthfeel that leaves a lasting impression of apple tea. Full City+ roasting brings about smokey cocoa notes, and contrasting toasted sugar sweetness (all the way to 2nd snaps).