Colombia - ASMUCAFE (Washed) - Filter
Our love affair with Colombian coffee continues with another fantastic coffee from the now hugely popular El Tambo region. ASMUCAFE is a coop coffee (regional lot) that typifies what we love about Colombian coffee right now. Big, juicy, sweet and full of flavour.
Why this coffee?
We are always looking for great Colombian coffees for either filter or espresso, as Colombia has such a great output across the whole year with multiple harvests. Last year we had a coffee called El Tambo, which proved to be a huge coffee for us. When we saw this coffee released from the El Tambo region, we got samples in quick, as we knew the quality would be solid. We're not disappointed and hope you love it as much as we do.
The farm / producers:
ASMUCAFE stands for Asociación de Mujeres Agropecuarias de Uribe, an organization of women farmers and landowners in El Tambo, a municipality within Cauca. The women's mission as an association is to improve their families' quality of life through coffee farming and to contribute positively to their community by working together and sharing resources, knowledge, and support. "Our work is determined by our values such as responsibility, honesty, commitment, respect, solidarity, and competitiveness," they say.
The coffee, all of which is of Castillo or Colombia variety, is picked as purple (Castillo) or bright red (Colombia) cherry, and undergoes a somewhat unusual "double" fermentation process, as the women describe it: First, the cherries are left in the loading hoppers for 14 hours, then they are de-pulped in the afternoons and evening hours and placed into traditional open fermentation tanks for another 10 hours. Then they are washed three to four times before being dried either in parabolic dryers or in the sun for 8–12 days.
Colombia has been exporting coffee since the 1800’s. In 1927 the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (The FNC) was created, providing support and guidance to the countries coffee growing industry, giving the industry the help it needed to succeed. Since then, the country has gone on to challenge Brazil and Vietnam as one of the leading coffee producers in the world. Colombia only produces Arabica coffee, and despite suffering from some big setbacks, such as severe leaf rust (a common coffee disease) in early 2010’s, it has gone on to become a hugely stable and valuable export for the country.
Colombia is capable of producing very diverse coffees, due to it’s vastly ranging climates, altitude, terrain, a range of processing styles and proximity to the Equator. With the support of the FNC, coffee quality in Colombia has vastly improved since the 1930’s. The country has made huge efforts to support moving farmers from the more profitable coca, to coffee and cacao farming. The result of proper support and fairer prices has driven quality levels and improved the countries reputation for quality / speciality grade coffee. This particular coffee comes from Narino, which tends to have higher altitude farms, which comes through in more complex acidity and heightened florals in the profile.
This lot is made up of three different varietals of Caturra, Castillo and Colombia (sometimes spelt Columbia), which is the most common mix of varietals from Colombia. Caturra is a natural mutation of bourbon and is a dwarf bean resulting in high yield. Castillo is a mutation created in 2005 to offer better yields to that of Typica and Bourbon and is now the most widely used varietal in the country, while Colombia is a cross between Caturra and the Timor Hybrid, again created for high production and resistance to leaf rust.
Honey, Tamarind, and Cola, with a descriptor of Tangy.