San Lorenzo, Colombia
Roast Level: Light-Medium
Varietal: Castillo & Colombia
Roaster's Notes: Sweet lychee and raisin notes backed by a dark chocolate body and flavour. A wonderful combination of bass and sweet, juicy fruits.
Producer: Various smallholders
Altitude: 1,700 -2,000 masl
In western Colombia, as one of the infamous coffee-producing departments, Nariño is filled with steep slopes and deep valleys, providing the area with a unique array of climates, diversifying the various tasting profiles of coffees grown in the area. Amongst the three important coffee-producing municipalities of Nariño lies San Lorenzo, a historical coffee-producing municipality, has recently been improving production by 3-4% annually whilst also significantly improving cup quality.
In Nariño sits the town of Pasto, whereby coffee producers bring their freshly collected cherries to be purchased by our exporting partners, Cóndor. The relationship with Nariño began in 2014 as Cóndor began working with new producers and purchasing new lots. The work conducted in this region has improved since 2019, with a stronger focus on quality analysis and direct relationships in addition to the provision of technical services for improved agricultural practices. Cóndor now has a working cupping lab and larger warehouse to expand purchasing power in Nariño.
Coffee is the main source of income for producers in San Lorenzo, but they also have additional income from Lulo, sugarcane and banana. This not only allows for diversified income, but also provides coffee with shade and improved nutrient access for the coffee. Intercropping similar to this can help alleviate the stresses of potential threats in Nariño.
Climate change has been a serious threat in addition to the lack of labour, increased cost of production and inability to maintain an increase in yields. With the alteration in climate, there is an alteration in the vegetative and productive cycle of coffee, decreased production, scattered blooms and an increase in disease spread. Quality is thus more difficult to maintain. In order to alleviate these changes, new coffee plantations are being planted with more adapted varietals, and improved farm infrastructure is enforced to improve the post-harvest process.
Generally, producers will harvest evenly ripened cherries and submerge them in a tank of water to remove floaters, helping to maintain quality. From here, the exterior pulp is removed, and the coffee fermented to breakdown the remaining mucilage. Once fermentation is complete, the coffee is set to dry in the sun. Producers transport the pergamino to the mill in Pasto where the coffee is hulled and analysed prior to being exported.
The relationship Cóndor maintains with the producers bringing their cherries to Pasto in Nariño has allowed for producers to improve quality and yield over time thanks to the direct relationship and increased incomes. Additionally, thanks to the access provided by Cóndor to agricultural resources, producers are thus creating a future for coffee production in areas such as San Lorenzo.