Colombia is a very well known and celebrated coffee producing country known for its range of flavour, sweetness and acidity. Coffee is an important part of its history, with many of the coffee growing regions in the country listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. We’ve been sourcing coffee from Colombia since 2010 and have focused on building relationships with producers in the Huila region, one of the most notable for quality. This has led to some great relationships, like with our long-time friends the Guzman Brothers.
Coffee in Colombia, though very exciting, can be quite a challenge as many farms in the country value yield over quality processing. This can traced back to federally funded programs aimed at increasing production. These programs are beneficial for many producers but aren’t always the best strategy for inciting quality coffee producers. The programs often focus on fast and hot drying systems, which are quite damaging to quality coffees and negatively affects their shelf life. What gets us going when it comes to Colombian coffees are the relationships that we’ve been able to develop with producers who are truly interested in improving quality and are passionate about their product. Kindred spirits, if you will. This is what we’ve found in the Guzman Brothers.
Audenar, Alirio and Abelardo Guzman have been our partners and friends since 2010, and have implemented projects to improve picking coffee cherry, processing, drying and storage. We’ve helped them design and build raised drying structures that optimize conditions by shading the coffee and improving the air-flow. Each brother monitors the drying coffee five times a day in order to achieve the ideal moistures and water activity. To protect their coffee from high humidity and temperatures, they store everything in GrainPro at their farm until they can make a delivery. This diligent work has led to some outstanding results and provided us with our best Colombian coffees for the past two years. In order to show our appreciation, we enthusiastically agreed to a three-year contract, committing us to buy all the quality coffee they produce.
We’re also in the process of seeking out more producers who are interested in working with us to improve the quality of their coffee. A challenge, yes, but we’ve been inspired by what we accomplished with the Guzmans and hope to repeat the success story.
Typical Colombia Harvest Schedule
- O5 Tea
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