Colombia La Plata Los Santos - This coffee is the result of a new project that has sprung up in the La Plata Municipality of Huila, Colombia. Dissatisfied with the cooperatives/associations to which they were members in the past, 25 families have banded together in order to play a more direct role in the selection process and sale of their coffees. La Plata lies in the foothills of the Cordillera Central mountain range, the farms in this group spanning a range of 1800 meters to 2000 meters above sea level. The average farm size is about 2 hectares with less than 10,000 trees planted, Caturra being the dominant cultivar grown, with some Variedad Colombia, and Castillo mixed in. The price paid for this coffee is extremely competitive for the region. This season, the intermediary we work with in Medellín are helping to finance the buying so that farmers are paid an initial premium up front when the coffee is delivered, and then a second payment once quality tier is determined. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Belen, San Sebastian; these are some of the sub Municipalities where members are from, and why we use the name "Los Santos" referring to their religious derivation. This 15 bag lot is a blend of high scoring separations from a few neighboring producers.
This coffee's sweetness is complex and overt, the aroma and flavor covering ground from floral honey to delicate fruits, and with volume. At City roast level, the ground coffee is perfumed with raw honeycomb smells, floral spice accents, and a top note of black currant herbal tea. A shade darker produces a scent of golden brown panela sugar, with a luscious dark fruit and cocoa scent. What a boost hot water adds to all of this: creamed honey, cane juice, vanilla caramels load the steam, and a host of fruit-to-floral suggestions come into play on the break. This coffee brews very well, a sweetness so dense that it's near tactile. When hot, you're greeted with an underlying honey sweetness that touches on floral in aroma. A flavor of baked apple pie filling highlights the cooling cup, dark sugar and fruit, and cinnamon stick accent. The flavors are crisp and defined, culminating in an extremely clean finish. Acidity too is articulate, translating as a structured cup, and enlivening the overall flavor profile. We fawned over City, City+, and Full City roasts, a pour-over garnering terms like: floral, black tea, marzipan, orange glaze, and my favorite, "it's so sweet"!
Cupping credit: Tom Owen. Processing Wet Process; Varietal: Caturra, Variedad Colombia; Appearance: 15-18 screen. (15 oz. bag)