Cups like a competition winner - fruit punch, stewed stone fruits, mulling spice hints, and well-integrated acidity. Descriptors build as the cup cools, an array of fruit-juice flavors, backed with thick, honey sweetness, and mouth-cleansing finish. City to Full City+.
Hugo Sepulveda's home and drying beds are situated at just-above 1900 meters, nothing to sneeze at. The part of Urrao where he comes from has really great altitude, 1800 meters on the valley floor, and coffee is planted at his farm at just over 2000. This lot placed 5th out of over 800 coffees at last year's Taza de Antioquia (the Cup of Antioquia), a yearly competition aimed at attracting farmers in the many growing regions to submit their best coffees, all hoping for high placement and the successive auction-premiums that comes with it. Cold water springs are plentiful, and make for slightly longer fermentation times (around 24 hours). The coffees we're buying from this region are fruit-forward, due in part to the confluence of long fermentation times, high altitude, varietal, and climate. Rains persist throughout the year seeing coffee on the trees every 3 weeks or so. Because of this, like Inz on the opposite side of the country, Urrao has two "peak" harvests instead of the common "main" and then the much smaller "fly" crops that are a product of lower levels of precipitation. We've begun buying from a small group of farmers in this region, who along with Hugo, are coordinating regular parchment deliveries together that are then screened by our intermediary, and eventually make it to our cupping tables. I sat in at one of these deliveries a few months back, cupping many fresh samples roasted just as soon as the parchment hit the coop floor. This "first look" has opened up a valuable opportunity for us to procure decent volumes of coffees that
This lot from Se±or Sepulveda is very complex, apparent in the first whiff of the ground coffee. We roasted to City and just north of FC, and both roasts were laden with smells of floral tea, raw sugars, and fruited notes. Fragrance to wet aroma, there is quite a range of fruit scents, raspberry pie filling, ripe lychee, spiced-plum jam, and a hint of jasmine tea. Brewing the coffee, the complexity found in the aroma is enticing, and the first sip reminds me of holiday punch - mulling spices, stewed fruits, and a lingering sweetness. This coffee shows so much depth, and a rounded, "weighty" mouthfeel. The cooling cup pushes hints of red berries, pomegranate,and pulpy orange juice to the forefront, and finishes with a tannic, plum skin note along with mouth-cleansing black tea. This is as complex as Colombian coffee gets - the long list of adjectives normally reserved for African coffees! Part of what makes it unique though is that the acidity is muted, definitely 'there', but much more integrated into the cup profile. This coffee from Hugo Sepulveda is complete in every way, leaving a lasting impression as a competition-winner should.