Colombia has certainly upped it game in quality and processing in the past couple of years. This one has both Fair Trade and Organic certifications which tend to be expensive to achieve in Colombia. It is from the Tolima region -- and more specifically Planadas.
The Tolima growing region has become one of my favorite coffee regions in Colombia for two reasons. 1- it consists of mostly small farmers with a passion for quality and minimal corruption. 2 -- the altitude is perfect for coffee. The ASEMPROGROPE co-op boasts a board of directors with 80% women and focuses on gender equality on all levels of the organization. The co-op grows coffee at an average altitude of a whopping 5700 feet above sea level. Because these are small farms, the farmers are paid for QUALITY, not QUANTITY. This makes a huge difference. With the right incentives, only perfectly ripe coffee is picked, the cherries are sorted carefully, they are processed carefully, you end up with a Colombian that has some interesting flavors in it.
My favorite landing point is Full City, not quite into the 2nd cracks. This is where we are tasting a bright acidity and hints of tropical fruit like paypaya or pineapple. There's some raisin flavor and caramel flavor. It's different enough that we can't brand it as our "Traditional Colombia" roast, but are enjoying it as a microlot. Overall sweetness, no bitterness, and clean aftertaste.
Now take it just into the 2nd cracks and it attaches a slightly bitter baking cocoa taste on the end -- which is very nice in its own way. If someone gave me a mug of this and said it was supposed to taste like this, I'd believe them and enjoy it.... but in truth, the cocoa taste is the slight beginning of over-roasting the bean. Anything darker than this and you have nice dark roast coffee, but you are just tasting the roast, and not the origin.
USA Arrival January 2021
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