We are extremely honored to again have the opportunity to work with this very small Red Caturra lot from one of our longest producer relationships. El Placer rests at a staggering 2,125 masl high in the mountains of San Antonio, Tolima. This coffee is extremely clean, it sings of ripe tropical fruits and has excellent sweetness and clarity.
San Antonio, Tolima
Main; June, 2019
Hand picked at peak ripeness. Floated. Depulped. Wet fermented for 36 hours. Dried on raised beds until moisture content reaches 10.5%.
Antonio Saavedra's coffee is consistently one of our favorite Colombian coffees of the year, and we're again honored to have the chance to work with ten bags of his Red Caturra this year. Noticing climatic temperature changes, Antonio sold his farm at 1,200 masl 20 years ago, and purchased El Placer at 2,100 masl at the top of the same mountain. The colder microclimate helps keep diseases at bay, and slows coffee cherry maturation. The downside is that there is no road access to his farm, and Antonio and his family must take a two hour horse ride down the mountain to the nearest road along with river valley. Horseback is how the coffee makes its way down from the mountain as well. Antonio's father, his wife, two children and his grandchild all live and work full time on this farm. He says, “I have coffee in my blood. I have been a coffee grower for 40 years. Coffee brings me food, life, love. I’m so proud when people buy my coffee and enjoy it.”
Caturra is a natural mutation of the Bourbon variety. It was discovered on a plantation in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil sometime between 1915 and 1918. Today, it is one of the most economically important coffees in Central America, to the extent that it is often used as a benchmark against which new cultivars are tested. In Colombia, Caturra was thought to represent nearly half of the country’s production before a government-sponsored program beginning in 2008 incentivized renovation of over three billion coffee trees with the leaf rust resistant Castillo variety (which has Caturra parentage).
The cost of getting a coffee from cherry to beverage varies enormously depending on its place of origin and the location of its consumption. The inclusion of price transparency is a starting point to inform broader conversation around the true costs of production and the sustainability of specialty coffee as a whole.