Altitude: 1450 - 1750 MASL
Varieties: Colombia, Castillo, Caturra, Tabi
Tasting Notes: Cherry, Milk Chocolate, Tropical Fruit
Process: Washed, EA Process Decaf
This lot was constructed during a cupping competition (The Acevedo Cup), which held its inaugural event in the municipality of Acevedo, Colombia. Producers located in and around the hamlets surrounding Acevedo town delivered coffees and any lot that met the physical criteria and had a cup score of at least 86 points was accepted into the competition. A small panel of local and international judges selected 20 of the best coffees submitted and ranked them from 1-20 over the course of three days of cupping. They then built “hamlet blends” based on cup profile from the lots that were accepted but did not make it into the top-20. Everyone whose coffee made it into competition got paid great prices with the top-20 receiving incrementally better prices.
This decaf blend was constructed from many day lots after the competition. The varieties that contributed are Caturra, Tabi, and Castillo. The processing is washed, then dried in raised and covered parabolic beds (marquees). After drying, it is sent to the decaffeination plant. It is processed with Ethyl Acetate.
Acevedo is a municipality located in the south-easternmost corner of the Huila region of Colombia, wedged in the fork between the central and eastern cordilleras (mountain ranges) where the Colombian Andes, coming up from the south, split into three distinct mountain ranges (the western, central and eastern cordilleras). Just beyond the central and eastern cordillera convergence is jungle and thus, moist, cool air. The affect that this has on Acevedo microclimates is that of a simulated increase in elevation—there is a wide diversity in humidity, temperature and rainfall—leading to differing but ideal coffee-growing conditions. The variety found in the cup profiles coming from Acevedo reflect its array of microclimates.
The altitude ranges from 1200 to 1800 meters above sea level (masl) with many of the farms we buy from lying within the 1400 to 1800-meter range. Elsewhere in Colombia, the lower part of this range could potentially produce uninteresting, flat coffees. Coffees produced at higher elevations are typically denser and are therefore appreciated more by specialty coffee professionals. Typically, an increase of elevation means an increase in perceived acidity in the cup. This is potentially in part due to an increase in exposure to UV radiation, but mostly caused by the larger diurnal swings that happen at higher elevations. The cooler nights that occur at higher elevations lead to slower cherry maturation, which leads to sweeter, more complex cups.
But Acevedo coffees are anything but uninteresting, whether they’re grown at the higher or lower part of the elevation range. They are incredibly sweet, complex and fruited cups. Standing on farms in Acevedo in early morning or later afternoon, it is easy to understand why. Even at just 1,500 masl one usually desires a sweatshirt or light jacket as the sun is setting. In town (which is at just 1,300 masl) morning showers are downright unpleasant (a statement compounded by the fact that hot water is quite simply non-existent in this part of Colombia). From many farms, one can quite literally watch the cold air, accompanied by billowing, moist clouds, roll from the jungle overtop of the farms. This moist air makes drying the coffee a challenge, but it is confronting and beating this challenge by drying the coffees in raised, covered beds, that also adds to the fruited complexity of these beautiful lots.