Beautifully complex community coffee from the Planadas municipality of central-western Colombia.
Roast: City (3/7) (Medium)
Score: Av. 84-85
Tasting Notes: Chocolate, Caramel, Sweet Panela and Yellow Fruits
Altitude: 1600-2000 MASL
Variety: Caturra, Typica, Colombia F8, Castillo
Processing Method: Double Fermented (35/35 hours) then Sun Dried (20 days)
Colombia has a reputation for producing high quality, mild, well-balanced coffees and is the third largest coffee producer worldwide (after Brazil and Vietnam). Coffee arrived in Colombia in the 1700's but it wasn't until 1808 that the first commercial production of 100 green coffee bags (60kg each) was registered. This grew throughout the latter half of the 19th century until a fall of international prices during the transition from the 19th to 20th centuries. This caused the profitability of large estates to plummet and resulted in the additional growth in the number of smaller, family run farms. Which now generate income for over 500,000 coffee farming families.
Tolima is the third largest coffee producing region of Colombia, accounting for 12% of the country's annual production. With fertile volcanic soil and high elevations, it can prove difficult to access but provides perfect conditions for growing coffee. Planadas is the most southerly municipality within the department of Tolima in central-western Colombia and this coffee is from a collective of 5-6 farms, between Montalvo and Bilbao in the region.
This coffee is imported by The Green Collection. Run by John and Claudia, they have decades of experience in the coffee industry. John first began working in coffee in 1995. Whilst on contract working in Burundi, he met Bali Bashia, the owner of Caf a Bu (Burundi Coffee Co.), whose infectious passion and remarkable knowledge led to a partnership, inspired by a joint vision to export Burundi's finest Arabica coffees. Although, he was later left with no alternative but to leave Burundi due to civil unrest in the region, he returned to South Africa in 1998 and founded 'Avanti Caffe'. He then left in 2011 to embark on a new Colombian adventure, but Avanti Caffe are still a strong, established South African brand and continue to produce a blend of coffees, from around the world, to this day.
John arrived in Colombia in 2011 after an opportunity to acquire his own coffee farm there. Whilst he has since left Colombia to return to the UK, the time he spent there has retained some close friendships and an excellent connection with other farmers in the region. John and Claudia now specialise in importing coffee from that same region and it is amazing to see the close relationship they have with all of small farms they source from. They are committed to social development, transparency and sustainability and have exercised this through their community development program, centralised around the various Planadas hamlets, through the production and supply of a higher grade EP10 coffees. The project initiative is to develop a stable environment through traceability and sustainably grown coffee, with an emphasis on social welfare. With new and ongoing campaigns including:
- Organic fertiliser
- Sustainable production
- Tree planting
- Extended fermentation practices
This particular community coffee is a blend from 5-6 smaller producing Planadas Community Farms and is an excellent example of Colombian coffee. With a smooth body and well-balanced juicy mouth feel, it has an interesting complexity of flavour but is very easy to drink. Roasting to a medium level accentuates these delicate, fruity flavours and shines beautiful tasting notes of Chocolate, Caramel, Sweet Panela and Yellow Fruits.
If you would like to learn more about the Green Collection, you can do so on their website here.