Colombia Manos Juntas Micromill - Natural Process
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Producer(s): 8 producers delivering to Manos Juntas Micromill
Variety: Castillo, Colombia, F6
Altitude: 1950–2100 Meters Above Sea Level
Processing: Fully Washed
We are very excited to offer this natural-processed coffee from the Manos Juntas Micromill in the department of Cauca in Colombia. This micromill is a project which is managed by Banexport, the export group that works very closely with our friends and import partners over at Cafe Imports. The purpose of the project is to simplify and streamline the production natural-processed coffees, which have been steadily growing in popularity in the specialty coffee world (coffee in Colombia is traditionally washed-process). The philosophy is that coffee quality is determined both by the attention given to how coffee is grown and by how it is processed post-harvest. With Banexport managing post-harvest processing, producers can remain focused on growing exceptional coffee. With so many people using their expertise in the differing areas of a coffee's journey, they named the micromill Manos Juntas (Hands Together).
For Banexport and Cafe Imports, some of the key benefits to this program include:
- Producers deliver and sell coffee in cherry form to Banexport by total weight. The riper the cherry, the heavier it is. This encourages more selective harvesting (which directly correlates to higher quality).
- Producers get paid upfront for their coffee. Typically producers have to wait 35 to 40 days for coffee to dry before selling it and getting paid.
- Banexport guarantees to pay producers a fixed price well above the market value for these cherries.
- Producers involved are from only nearby farms. This means they need only to travel a short distance to deliver coffee, as opposed to driving some distance into town.
- Coffee infrastructure, like drying beds, fermentation tanks, and depulpers, can be very expensive to purchase and maintain. With this model, producers can forgo those expenses and focus on maintaining healthy trees.
This particular lot was first purchased in its cherry form on the day of harvest from the following eight producers involved in the program. They are:
- Dimer Moncayo Muñoz of Finca El Diviso
- Bernardo Moncayo Bolaños of Finca El Pino
- Geremias Moncayo Salazar of Finca Buena Vista
- Juan Bautista Gaviria of Finca Villa Susy
- Pablo Emilio Duran Guerrero of Finca El Guamo
- Armel Moncayo Trujillo of Finca Loma El Marcelo
- Ricardo Leon Moncayo of Finca La Granadilla
- Flor Maria Lopez of Finca San Jose
Upon the cherries' arrival, the sugars and pH were recorded, and they were placed in large hermetic tanks for a five-day-long anaerobic fermentation. Each tank is labeled with the name of the producer in order to retain traceability. During this period, nitrogen gas was introduced into the tanks in order to stimulate the yeast. The sugars and pH were measured constantly through this process and were used to determine the stopping point for fermentation. The coffee was then dropped to 20°C (68°F) in order to cease fermentation and remove the yeast and other microorganisms. Afterwards, the cherries rested in tanks for a period of five more days before they were taken to solar dryers to dry, typically taking between 30 to 45 days. From there, the coffee was sampled and, when approved, the lot was dry-milled and shipped. Once in the US, we tasted, approved, and had the coffee delivered to our facility here on the West Side of Saint Paul. We then crafted a roast profile to highlight what we found great about this coffee! When we first tasted it, we enjoyed the silky body and tart, vibrant flavors of watermelon candy, green apple, and blackberry yogurt that finished with delicate florals.
A coffee like this, intentionally developed in this way, reminds us that great coffee does not come to us by luck or chance, but by the dedication of many hands, together.