And ESPRESSO from Planadas, TOLIMA.
This coffee from José Rodriguez is certified FTO, Bird-friendly and Rainforest.
The Association of Small Ecological Producers of Planadas, Tolima, is a long-time partner and supplier of some of our favourite coffees. Not only is the group proudly certified, they champion home-made organic fertilisers and biological controls of fungicides and pesticides that go way beyond what is required by the certifiers. These are the same products we promote and teach to our Huila growers like Yamid. The group is deeply committed to soil and water preservation and the sustainable development of their community, which was for such a long time cut off from international buyers as the zone was a FARC stronghold and area of extreme military and guerilla conflict.
Aside from having some of the healthiest and thriving small farms around, the members of ASOPEP are equally as passionate about cup quality. This is not only from a socio-economic point of view, but because they are passionate and excited craftswomen and men. We’ve never seen so many children of producers wanting to stay on the farm and run the family business. Heaps of the kids travel for hours to come to the HQ every week for roasting and cupping training. They are brilliant cuppers (when the electricity doesn’t cut out) and the quality of the microlots keeps rising as farmers experiment and receive quick feedback. We’ve lost count of the amount of humidity and brix meters we’ve filled our suitcases with for them, and they are putting them to great use.
Jose Rodriguez is 34 years old and has been farming on the family land since he was eight. He now has his own farm where the young family grow all their own food alongside their coffee. He’s been experimenting with different processing techniques in collaboration with the association’s cupping team.
A direct quote from Jose: “coffee for me has been an alternative to bring economic stability to my family, one that is in harmony with the environment”.
This Caturra lot (grown at 1850masl) is super soft and approachable. Tastes of Anzac biscuit with a lemon sherbert brightness and complex hints of Sencha tea. Sounds like a lot to pack into a coffee but sit with this one for a while, its subtlety belies its complexity.