Jamith is a young producer new to the Monkaaba Project. This is his first year working with the group, and the first time his coffee has reached an international market. In the cup we find melon, white grape, and milk chocolate.
Alto de Las Chinas, San Agustín, Huila
Hand picked at peak ripeness every three weeks. Floated to further remove defects. Held in cherry to ferment for 24 hours. Depulped. Dry fermented in tile tanks for 36 hours. Washed and soaked in clean water for 12 hours. Dried on a solar dryer for 18 days.
Like many in San Agustín, Jamith’s journey in coffee has been long. However, his has taken him all over Colombia. At 12 years old, he began working on his family's farm collecting cherries. As part of a family tradition, he began to move around the country into other coffee growing regions. By the age of 15 he made his way to northern Huila and later, to Andes and Bolivar in Antioquia. After 10 years—at the age of 25—he finally was able to begin his own coffee garden and planted his first 1,000 Caturra trees. He is now planting primarily Pink Bourbon and San Bernardo on his small, 2 hectare (~5 acre) garden plot.
Pink Bourbon is a variety known for the complexity of its acidity and fruit characteristics. The physical look of the seeds and plant, along with its rather distinct flavor profile, point towards it being some sort of Ethiopian Landrace variety. However, to our knowledge Pink Bourbon has not yet been genetically tested, so we cannot say with certainty what exactly it is. Working with our partners at World Coffee Research we hope to have this variety tested in the near future.
Monkaaba is a group of producers who have been selling their coffee to the specialty market for many years. They have collectively decided that they would like to be more autonomous in their coffee production, and have more involvement in its marketing and sales. Monkaaba is committed to helping producers throughout Huila by teaching them how to cup their own coffees and how and why specific coffees are either accepted or rejected by the specialty market. This group is currently working with growers of all levels of experience in San Agustín and Tarqui to cup and discuss in depth the challenges they are facing on the way to their goals and dreams. The early results of this program have been very successful.
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.