Colombia Narino Perla del Sur Lot 1
Narino is the southernmost province in Colombia, bordering Ecuador. Due to its close proximity to the Equator, sitting roughly 1 degree north, coffee can be grown at extreme altitudes. I've GPS'd farms in one particular area of Narino with coffee trees planted at over 2,200 masl. Outside of a few small pockets in Cusco and Puno, Southern Peru, I can't recall ever coming across coffee growing at these heights in Latin America. As propaganda in favor of the higher yielding, more disease resistant and lower quality yielding 'Colombia" varietals such as Castillo continues, we've been fortunate to work with farmers who find the value in Caturra. Where Bourbon has trouble withstanding chilly evenings, and the yields of traditional Typica continues to be tough on sustainable farming, Caturra transcends all other varietals above 2,000 masl in terms of viability of production and cup quality are concerned. Our Narino lots are a testament to that.
As far as coffee production is concerned, Colombia has as interesting a cultural dynamic as any other country in the trade. I draw similarities to Guatemala considering the class differences between an area like the Coffee Grower's Axis towards north-central Colombia vs. the smallholder production in the South. Gigantic Estates, with coffee sometimes grown on several thousand acres of land, are commonly found in the Antioquia, Risaralda, Caldas and Quindio. Across Cacua, Tolima, Huila and most of the south you'll typically find coffee grown on just a few acres. However, Narino is home to the smallest average landholders in Colombia's coffee production with many of the farmers we work with operating on less than 3 acres. Processing may be simple, but when done properly, its every bit as thorough as it needs to be. Manual depulping machines remove the coffee beans from their cherry skins. The time these beans are left to ferment ranges between 12-18 hours. After washing, which can happen in the same fermentation tank or a secondary tank next to it, the clean beans are most often dried on raised parabolic beds. This type of bed is nothing more than your standard raised beds with a clear plastic covering that protects the beans from the elements. Being so close to the equator there aren't distinctly different weather seasons, and it can rain in Narino on any given day. Being as such, the plastic is left open on each end of the apparatus to allow for proper airflow as well as ensuring that precipitation isn't trapped on it's inner roof.
Perla del Sur are a series of lots comprised of coffees from the San Gerardo, San Lorenzo, Taminango and La Union veredas and departamentos in Northern Narino. Tom, Dan and I have spent many an hour constructing these lots on the cupping table this summer and we're quite proud of what we have to offer you all. These are world class coffees and I'd assume we'll be rotating through them rather quickly. Luckily, the harvest is almost constant in Narino, so with even more luck on our side we'll be able to offer various lots to you all with some frequency.
-AlecoThis coffee is part of our Farm Gate pricing program.
With a dark sugar sweetness and a butterscotch candy note in the cup, Perla del Sur makes such a great daily drinking coffee. The dry grounds have a peach smell to them, like fresh stone fruit rather than dried. There's also a bran-like sweetness, and cacao, especially in the darker roast. Pouring hot water brings up raspberry and maple in the steam. Like all of our Narino coffees, the breakis so sweet, with a note of hazelnut and honey. That raw honey note is most exposed at lighter roast levels but is still easily perceived at more developed roasts as well. The cup is sweetened with flavors of caramel and dark brown sugar. As the temperature of the cup dips, fruits begin to emerge. While not super complex, there's an unmistakable base of green grape and Asian pear. Caramel, nougat and roasted nuts also appear, and Perla del Sur takes on the flavors of a sip-able Snickers Bar. At darker roasts, Full City/ Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide. ">Full City+, this makes for an amazing SO espresso. There's so much citrus like mandarin, lemon, and grapefruit, but with just enough chocolate to apply some restraint to the lively acidity.