This lot is a family effort of Maximino Gutierrez and Oscar Gutierrez. Peach, fig and plum are in the aroma, while the cup has a malic, apple-accent. Hibiscus and ripe orange as it cools. City to City+ roast is ideal, but Full City works well too.
This lot is a family effort, as small-farm coffees so often are; Maximino Gutierrez and his father Oscar Gutierrez, both members of the Asoceas Cooperative. The family grows Caturra cultivar at the end of this remote valley, at altitudes between 1600 - 1800 meters. It's consistently been a standout coffee from the Herrera area of Tolima, and this has to do with the careful drying of the parchment on the roof of their home, called a Casa Elba. Yes, as in Yemen, they created a flat roof "raised bed" for coffee drying on top of the house. Maximino's total production is about 20 bags of coffee. They use a pulper machine to remove the skin of the fruit and then finish the coffee with overnight wet-fermentation: traditional small-farm Colombia processing. The key is perhaps the careful drying I mentioned before, and the coffee is stored overnight in their house. The location is so remote that getting the coffee out of the valley can be an ordeal. The road was washed out for part of the coffee harvest time, and traverses a steep cliff (where more than a few trucks have gone over the edge with their coffee loads!) After we bought this coffee several years ago, I asked for help to track down Srs. Gutierrez to see if we could work on a longer term basis. We buy each small harvest lot, have it exported in vacuum packed boxes to protect the quality, and offer it as soon as it arrives.
The dry fragrance from the lighter roast levels is well fruited. I found plum, peach, fig and mango in the samples at a range of roast levels. The wet aroma has honey and hazelnuts in lighter roasts, with a continuation of fruited-juicy scents like the fragrance. The cup is very sweet in both the lighter roasts and darker levels as well. Malic, apple-like brightness dominates the cup, with a syrupy sweetness. Slight hibiscus floral notes emerge as it cools, and the brightness has a ripe orange dimension. Darker roasts have caramel and blackberry peeking out from behind a milk chocolate roast taste. It's a classic Tolima flavor profile, both balanced and sweet. The finish is cleanly fruited and long lasting. It's the kind of coffee one can simply sip and enjoy, or, if you want to pay attention to the flavors more, reveals itself in layers, especially as it cools.