For most coffee lovers, Colombia is synonymous with good coffee, and rightfully so. In a given year, an estimated 600,000 farmers contribute to the country’s 11-13 million exported coffee bags. Coffee is undeniably central to Colombia’s culture and economy.
Introduced by Spanish Jesuits in the early 18th century, coffee spread quickly from the northern mountains to the rest of the country. Columbia’s smaller-than-average farm sizes contribute to the cup quality that the country is known for. Colombian coffee quality has also been enhanced by the establishment of the Federación Nacional de Cafetereos de Colombia in 1927, a government organization dedicated to the propagation of quality Colombian coffee. Shortly after its establishment, Colombia developed its reputation as the world coffee leader we now know it to be.
In the months since we opened, the Baba Java team has been working to get our hands on a Colombian coffee that we love. This past August we were fortunate to bring in a few bags from Hulia, a region known for its bright cups. Our Castillo varietal comes from Finca El Faldon, a family-owned estate whose coffee has a history of winning quality. In 2011, Arnulfo Leguizamo, the owner of Finca El Faldon, won the Cup of Excellence award for his farm’s coffee. The coffee fetched an unprecedented $45 per pound at the time.
Arnulfo and his family have continued their award-winning tradition in the years since. His son Diego has been trained and certified as a cupper (someone who tastes and scores cups of coffee). He now works alongside his father as he prepares to run the farm himself one day. Like many Colombian coffee farms, Finca El Faldon is a family operation.
We have found that the Leguizamo family’s coffee lives up to the hype. After roasting these beans for a couple of months, we believed that this was one of our better coffees so we submitted a sample to Coffee Review, a website that cups and scores coffee for roasters all over the country. We are glad we did because it scored a 91, Baba Java’s second-highest-rated coffee after our Yemen!
Another reason we decided to get this coffee reviewed was because of its unique tasting notes. The Castillo varietal is known for having tart fruit acidity, but not this one. The Leguizamos’ harvest this year is actually quite savory. While some fruit acidity is present, the overwhelming note we tasted was heirloom tomato. This may come as a surprise and may even initially sound a little too “out there” to some. But it reminds us of a warm tomato basil soup, which could not pair more perfectly with the dropping temperatures of late November.
If you want to try a unique coffee from a corner of the world known for delicious coffee, this Colombia is for you. We are offering it as a pour-over in the cafe. We know that once you taste it, you will want to purchase a 12oz or a 2lb bag for home.
You will not be disappointed! Whether you agree with our heirloom tomato comparison or not, you will see why this wonderful coffee scored an A on its Coffee Review cupping test!
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