This coffee is the result of a new project that has sprung up in the La Plata Municipality of Huila, Colombia. This particular lot was purchased from Estaban Pillumue in the Rio Chiquito region, just south of La Plata town where the association is located. Rio Chiquito lies in the foothills of the Cordillera Central mountain range, the farms in this group spanning a range of 1800 meters to 2000 meters above sea level. The average farm size is about 2 hectares with less than 10,000 trees planted, Caturra being the dominant cultivar grown, with some Variedad Colombia, and Castillo mixed in. Initial samples from the La Plata group have been very promising.The price we pay for this coffee is very competitive for the region, due in part to demand, but also because each farmer's lot is kept separate in order to help us identify areas of quality, and pay accordingly. This means we are cupping coffee lots as large as 10 bags, all the way down to 30 kilograms (the average lot size is about 2 bags). This season, the intermediary we work with in Medellin are helping to finance the buying so that farmers are paid an initial premium up front when the coffee is delivered, and then a second payment once quality tier is determined.
This coffee's sweetness is complex and overt, the aroma and flavor covering ground from floral honey to ripe fruits, and with volume. At City roast level, the ground coffee is perfumed with raw honeycomb smells, a floral sweetness, and is highlighted by a fragrant note of ripe apple. A shade darker produces a scent of golden brown panela sugar, with a luscious grape and Bartlett pear scent. What a boost hot water adds to all of this: creamed honey, cane juice, vanilla sugar load the steam, and a host of fruit-juice suggestions come into play on the break. This coffee brews so well, a "chewy" sweetness in substance to say the least. When hot, you're greeted with an underlying white honey sweetness that touches on floral in aroma. Malic to tartaric fruits like Asian pear, apple, green grape, and bergamot citrus highlight the cup as the temperature cools down a bit. The flavors are crisp and defined, culminating in an extremely clean finish. Acidity too is articulate, translating as a structured cup, and enlivening the overall flavor profile. We fawned over both our City and City+ roasts, a pour-over garnering terms like: floral, black tea, marzipan, orange glaze, and my favorite, "it's so sweet"!