This lot is a family effort, as small-farm coffees so often are; Maximino Gutierrez and the adjacent farms of his brothers and sons. They call it Finca Las Florestales, and it has already been recognized with a #11 spot in a Cup of Excellence competition. The family grows 100% 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 Florestales several years ago, I asked for help to track down Sr. 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 really stunning; peach blossoms, fruited, and floral. The wet aroma has violets, a bit of berry, and baked apple sweetness. The cup is very sweet in both the lighter roasts and darker levels as well. Malic, apple-like brightness dominates the cup, with somewhat syrupy sweetness. Darker roasts have dark honey and blackberry peeking out from behind a milk chocolate roast taste. FC roast features a very well-integrated acidity, It's a classic Tolima flavor profile, balanced and sweet.