Colombia Narino Macerated Natural
TASTING NOTES: Exotic | Maraschino Cherry & Dark Chocolate
ORIGIN: Narino Colombia
PROCESS: Experimental Process
Suggested Listening: "Fallen" by One Dove
The Andes of northern Nariño creates a rugged and broad landscape for coffee production, high altitudes and steep slopes produce world class coffee. The area's coffee producers are overwhelmingly small and remote, which until the past decade kept them largely undiscovered in Colombia’s microlot market. The municipalities of Buesaco and La Unión, not far from Chachagüí, were some of the first municipalities to gain international attention with competition-winning coffees, bringing buyers with strong beliefs in the potential of Nariño’s high altitudes, volcanic soil composition (the department has 6 of Colombia’s 16 volcanoes), and willing producers.
Finca La Paz, belonging to Juan Francisco Alfonso Ortiz Sepulveda and his family, is a member farm in Café Occidente, Nariño’s formidable coffee growers’ union. Café Occidente has around 2000 associate producers, 20 purchasing stations and 8 storage warehouses across the department. La Paz is located in the community of Casabuy, just west of the town of Chachagüí.
Prior to setting the cherry to dry at La Paz, Juan utilizes a curing step that until recently was almost unheard of, but is becoming more common among quality-minded producers. This involves bagging the cherries just after picking and allowing the whole fruit to cure in a low-light, low-oxygen environment for multiple days. At La Paz cherries are bagged this way for 4 days before being dried in a combination of shaded raised beds and mechanical drying drums. The effect of the curing stage, when done well, often creates a concentrated tartness in the final cup reminiscent of pickled plum or cherry syrup. In an otherwise high-elevation, complex coffee such as this one, the experimental note adds a certain kick to the rest of the coffee’s balance.
We find this coffee to be a lovely balance of dessert wine like sweet, and boozy maraschino cherry with a super decadent dark chocolate finish. Definitely a walk on the coffee wild side.