Foundry Coffee Roasters - Agustino Forest Huila, Colombia
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‘In a country as large as Colombia, with an established coffee industry that is spread over 17 regions, there is bound to be variation in quality with a range that includes truly exceptional through to rather ordinary. Colombia is the third largest producer of coffee in the world after Brazil and Vietnam – though holds the crown for being the largest producer of washed Arabica. The coffee producing areas lie among the foothills of the Andes and the Sierra Nevada, where the climate is temperate with adequate rainfall. Colombia has three secondary mountain ranges (cordilleras) that run towards the Andes and it is amongst these that the coffee is grown. The hilly terrain provides a wide variety of micro-climates which means that harvesting can take place throughout the year as the coffee of different farms will ripen at varying times. There are more than half a million growers spread throughout the key regions of Nariño, Cauca, Meta, Huila, Tolima, Quindio, Caldas, Risaralda, Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Cundinamarca, Guajira, Cesar, Madgalena, Boyacá, Santander and Norte de Santander. Key varietals include caturra, bourbon, typica, castillo and maragogype.
The first exports of coffee from Colombia began in 1835 when around 2,500 bags were exported to the U.S. and by 1875 there were 170,000 bags leaving the country bound for the U.S. and Europe. Exports grew over the next hundred years or so and peaked in 1992 at around 17 million bags. Today, following unreliable weather patterns and a national programme of plant regeneration, Colombian exports are currently around 9 million bags of coffee per year. Coffee’s importance to the Colombian economy brought about the development of The Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC) in 1927. This body is responsible for research, technical advisory services, quality control and marketing. Juan Valdez, a fictitious character created by the FNC, is the world famous moustachioed, mule -riding and sombrero-wearing coffee farmer and very much the face of the Colombian coffee industry. It is widely accepted that some of the country’s best coffees come from the south west in the departments of Huila, Tolima, Nariño and Cauca’.
And if you’d like to know more about this particular association…
CATURRA - is a cultivar from Brazil and is a mutation of Bourbon which is much higher yielding. The tree will not reach the same height as Bourbon and typical characteristics associated with this varietal are bright acidity and medium body.
AGUSTINO FOREST – The growers association we are working with is called ASOGUAR which was established in 2006 with an aim to promote coffee growing to the smallholder communities rather than producing crops for the illegal drugs trade. The cooperative has a strong focus on environmental conservation and the belief is that coffee cultivation is the way to achieve this by counteracting the effects of illicit drug production and the sale of timber in the area. It is currently made up of 104 families who are growing coffee on the land surrounding the ancient forests of South Huila, home to a UNESCO World Heritage site with the archaeological park of San Agustin. This site contains some of the country’s most important remnants of pre-Hispanic culture and it is the protection of this site and the land surrounding it which is at the core of the ASOGUAR Association. The smallholder farmers involved with this Association are given access to the speciality market along with technical training and funding for tree planting and improving local infrastructure in return for commitment by the smallholder’s involved to protect the local environment and the ecosystems surrounding their farms.The Association members hand pick ripe red cherry and deliver it to their own micro wet mill where it is pulped and washed. The washed beans are then either dried on patio’s underneath sliding covers in case of rainfall or in a parabolic dryer with the sides open to improve airflow. The dry parchment coffee is then sent to the dry mill to first rest and is then milled to remove the parchment before being graded and packed into GrainPro bags.’
Farm/Coop: ASOGUAR Association - Around 100 family smallholder farms
Great for: Aeropress, Cafetiere, Espresso, Filter, Milky-Frothy
Origin: Central America/Colombia - San Agustin, Huila Colombia
Process Method: Washed
Tasting Notes: distinct notes of tropical fruits, pineapple and passion fruit
Roaster: Foundry Coffee Roasters
Delivery prices to United Kingdom
Initial collection: Foundry Coffee Roasters - Sheffield
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