Inzá Cauca Smallholders
This coffee was produced by 52 smallholder coffee producers hailing from the neighbouring sub-municipalities of Pedregal and San Antonio. Every single microlot delivered was cupped and reserved due to its scoring 85 points or above by the community cupping lab, funded by Mercanta Exporting Partners, Pergamino, who are based in the Department of Antioquia. These stringent standards result in very limited quantities of this exceptional blend of 70%+ Caturra and approx 30% Variedad Colombia being made available for export.
Cauca’s violent past, with a heavy presence of FARC guerrillas, had historically prevented the FNC (Colombia’s excellent national coffee board) and specialty-focused exporters from establishing a presence in the region. As violence has diminished, it has enabled the growers in the region to seek increased access to markets for quality, not only taking advantage of the region’s wonderful coffee-growing conditions but also the economic resource that nearby tourist destinations bring (for instance, the World Heritage Site “Parque Nacional Arqueológico de Tierradentro”).
We found out about this coffee through our good friends at Pergamino, who serve it in their own flagship specialty café in Medellin.
Colombia is the third largest coffee-producing country in the world, and thanks to its vast array of unique microclimate, are able to have harvests throughout the year.
Commercial coffee cultivation began in the mid-1830s and spread so rapidly that throughout the twentieth century coffee already became the country’s leading export. A mountainous topography and many tropical micro-climates contribute greatly to Colombia’s reputation for ideal growing conditions, which – in turn – have helped Colombia establish itself as a recognisable origin around the world.
The diversity of coffee and profiles found across Colombia is enormous and coffee is harvested practically year-round depending on the region. The main harvest takes place from October to February with November and December being the peak months. There is also a second fly (or ‘mitaca’) crop several months later, again varying by region and microclimate.