- Origin: Colombia
- Region: Narino
- Town: Chachagui
- Farm: Casa Vieja
- Farmer: Julius Cesar Montenegro
- Crop: 2021
- Altitude: 1900m
- Variety: Caturra, Castillo and Colombia
- Processing: Fully Washed
A note from our supplier, Nordic Approach:
The coffees from Nariño hold a special place in our selection of Colombian coffees. It is one of the most difficult regions to work in, in Colombia. This is because the region itself is situated in the southwest of Colombia, on the border to Ecuador. This has historically been a route for moving drugs out of Colombia, and there are still areas along the border that are considered very dangerous. It is considerably under resourced compared to other coffee growing regions in the country, and most producers here are very small with a harvest that is very spread out.
The coffees and the producers here are remarkable. I have always experienced the most kind and generous hospitality from the producers here when I have visited. Julio Cesar Montenegro is a larger producer for the Nariño region, with a total of 5 hectares planted in coffee across three farms in the Chachagui municipality: Casa Vieja, Roleto and Paizara. All farms are around 1,900 meters above sea level. On this farm, Casa Vieja, he has 3ha of coffee.
Julio grows Colombia, Castillo and Caturra varieties, and he is careful to pick only ripe cherries. Some years ago Morten visited him, and they discussed processing natural coffees, this year Julio began to produce these coffees. Coffees are picked in three to four passes, meaning the producers/workers pick the ripe cherries in one block. Then they might wait a few weeks until more cherries ripen before passing through the same block again. Generally the first and last passes yield coffee of a slightly lower quality, while the second and third passes will yield more ripe cherries and uniform quality. When we can, we try to buy parchment harvested in the second or third pass. Julio is well acquainted with good picking protocols, to only pick cherries that are ripe.
This coffee from Julio is washed, meaning it is pulped and fermented the traditional way. In Julio’s case the cherries are first put in water where the light underdeveloped ones float and can be removed. This step improves the selection process. The most common and widely used method in this region involves a small beneficio, a small manual or electric pulper and a fermentation tank. Producers pulp the cherries in the afternoon, then transfer the coffee from the pulper into the fermentation tank. The pulped coffee at Casa Vieja is fermented in tanks for 20 hours. This can depend on the temperature. Higher temperature will speed up the fermentation process, and lower temperature will slow it down. Some producers rinse the coffee in this process which can help them control temperatures.
Producers normally stir the coffees in tanks or small channels before they remove the floaters. Producers who don’t have channels commonly wash the coffees in the fermentation tank and skim off the floaters before drying. Julio dries his coffee on raised beds, giving better ventilation than what is common in Nariño. Normally in this region the coffees are sun-dried in parabolic dryers that almost work like green houses. The producers of higher quality coffees have well ventilated facilities. There are many different variations and constructions, but generally they are all systems that protect the coffee from rain. The coffee takes approximately 8 days to complete to reach approximately 11% humidity.
Our coffee comes in craft paper bags which contain a plastic liner on the inside to guarantee freshness of our coffee. Please dispose properly at your local plastic trash container. The Village Coffee is roasted fresh every week, and best consumed within four weeks after roast date. Store your coffee in a dry, dark and cool place, avoid the fridge.