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Hugo Melo – Espresso



Hugo Melo – Espresso


  • Producer Hugo Melo
  • Attributes Wet processed, bed dried, Caturra
  • Origin San Augustin – Colombia
  • Flavours brown sugar, juicy orange, peanut butter, melted chocolate
Hugo Melo is a young producer located near the town of Alto del Obispo, itself near San Agustin in Southern Huila. He farms 3 hectares of var. caturra and var. castillo up at about 1800 metres above sea level. 


No introduction to Hugo Melo would be complete without reference to his brother-in-law Yamid Quinayas, via whom we met (please refer to our other product pages for information on Yamid). Hugo had been waiting on the sidelines while our relationship with Yamid developed. After legitimate concern that our anti-agro-chemical stance may increase his trees vulnerability to leaf rust and may result in decreased yields, Hugo softened after seeing us return several times each season, paying consistently fair prices and additionally seeing that Yamid’s trees were thriving and that his cup was improving. By mid-2018 we started to receive samples of Hugo’s coffee to assess.


Hugo and Yamid make a great pair, they collaborate very closely in the technical aspects of farm management and processing, and generally spur each other on. Hugo also happens to have designed and constructed one of the best-shaded drying structures we’ve EVER seen in Colombia, a model duplicated on the family farm of Noe and Edilma Quinayas (remember Edilma, her coffee sold out in a few short weeks!), with Yamid’s construction about to begin.


Sidebar: Good drying is an underappreciated contributor to coffee quality: if it’s too fast or too harshly exposed to direct sun/heat, the seed’s protective parchment layer can split, causing the seed within to be unfavourably subject to light, heat, and humidity changes, and so begin to degrade. Nor can drying be too slow, as this can lead to the development of mold, pockets of uneven moisture locked up in the seed, and general muting of flavours. Most of all, coffee should not continually gain and shed humidity while drying – the drying should be fairly linear. All of these issues are accounted for in Hugo’s drying happily, leading to a coffee of great clarity, good intensity and – importantly – long shelf life pre-roast. We will blog about this in some detail really soon!


This lot of Hugo’s was purchased in March 2019, and delivered to nearby Pitalito for processing for export. We’re proud to bring you this tasty coffee from a young and upcoming producer! This is one smooth coffee, like melted chocolate and brown sugar, drizzled over peanut butter ice cream. We have a word here at HQ for when we taste coffees like this, “suave”, and we think this coffee fits this description like a perfectly tailored suit.

Pricing Transparency:
We paid Hugo 1,450,000 pesos per carga for this lot, in March 2019, against the prevailing market price of 710,000 pesos per carga and the Fairtrade (TM) price of 755,000 pesos per carga.
* Currency is Colombian Pesos.
* A carga is 125 kilos of parchment form coffee.
* Parchment form coffee is the final finished coffee produced at farm level, before it is de-hulled, and then size, density and colour sorted and packed (in an export facility) for shipping.
* As with all the producers we work with in Colombia, we purchased directly from Hugo. When we say ‘direct’, we literally mean it: we paid him in Colombian pesos, from our bank account to his own. We then assumed risk and responsibility of the parchment from the farm-gate, contracting the milling service to a third party in Pitalito, Huila, and exporting via our own Colombian entity, Shared Source S.A.S.


For more info on brewing your coffee for maximum enjoyment, check out the Brew Methods page.Whole beans only. Roasted for espresso brewing.
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