Urrao is unique for many reasons, one being the average altitude of this mountain town. The Valley of Penderisco where Urrao lies in northern Antioquia sits at 1800 - 1850 meters, this base being higher than many of our other Colombian coffees we consider to be "high grown". Many of the farms we're buying from in the region top out at 2100 meters, healthy Caturra plantings abound. This area is quite cold too, however the coffee farmers have benefited from an uptick of a couple of degrees C over the past decade, now a climate more suitable for coffee production. This lot from Jose Florez is a first for us, a newer producer to the buying program we are part of in this region, the number of contributing farmers now upwards to 50. Most farms are less than 5 hectares of coffee, and planted in Caturra, Variedad Colombia, and a local heirloom of Caturra. The coffee is wet processed at home, depulped, fermented, and dried in raised solar dryers. Because of the cold weather, fermentation times are longer on average than many southern coffees we buy. This lends to more fruit-forward notes, and somewhat muted acidity. We enjoyed City+ and Full City roasts of Jose Florez' coffee the most, where dark fruit notes are paired with bittersweetness, and body is dense and weighty.
The ground coffee of this lot from Jose Flores has a smell of ginger powder and molasses bread, especially at City+ where it culminates as a molasses cookie smell. A dark sweetness builds in the wet grounds, more molasses allusions, along with a waft of rice syrup, and ginger tea. City roasts have tea-like qualities in the cup too, Rooibos tea, herbal notes, and chamomile like brightness. Full City has berry tones, blackberry/cacao bar, blueberry pancake syrup, and lasting bittersweetness in the long finish. Body is inky in middle roasts, and acidity overall is mild to moderate. While I enjoy the higher perceived brightness in our lightest roasts, it's this coffee's brooding dark sweetness and berry tones found at City+ and Full City roast levels that win me over.