Colombia - La Union (Washed) - Espresso
There are two origins that we have started to develop a bit of a love affair with. One is Peru, the other Colombia. Both origins have the capacity to offer lots of variance in their output, not always sticking to what they are associated with in terms of typical characteristics.
La Union is a classic example of the quality of coffee coming out of this origin right now the south right now, big fruity flavours, tangy acidity and lots of sweetness.
Why this coffee?
We have just finished up our last Colombian micro-lot called Popayan Hill, which proved to be hugely popular on both filter and espresso. We wanted to find another Colombian that could deliver on both counts, but one that was arguably more complex than Popayan, as it was definitely down the accessible road. We think this coffee will be a huge crowd pleaser across espresso served black or white, but will also shine as a juicy filter with it’s huge tropical notes.
Narino is in the far South West of the country, not far from the border of Ecuador. Fundación Agraria y Ambiental Para el Desarrollo Sostentible (FUDAM) is a 300-member association of organic-certified (and Rainforest Alliance–certified) growers that was founded in the year 2000 by just seven producers who shared a vision of sustainable agriculture as well as environmental protection and development.
This group of smallholders lives in and around the small municipality of La Unión in Nariño, where the terrain differs greatly from in other coffee-growing areas like Cauca: Instead of walking up from the town to the farms, as elsewhere, here the towns are at such high elevation that the farms are typically lower elevation, surrounded by high peaks and rough road.
This lot comprises coffees from 12 member farms (known as a regional lot), all of whose land is between 1700–2100 meters. The farmers pick their coffee during the day and de-pulp it in the afternoon, typically fermenting the lots for 16–24 hours dry. The coffees are generally washed two or three times before being dried either in small "casa elbas," mechanical dryers, or parabolic dryers. The mechanical drying takes between 25–40 hours, while the other drying structures can take up to 15 days.
What's the best way to brew it?
It works best in professional espresso machines such as a Rocket, Marzocco, Expobar (Pro-Sumer) producing a complex but full-bodied espresso. You can use it in the likes of a Rancilio Silvia, Gaggia Classic, De'Longhi or Dualit, but may struggle to get precise results when served black.