This coffee comes from Finca Monteblanco, in the Huila department of Colombia. It is of the purple caturra variety, a variety in which the cherries turn a deep shade of purple when ripe. Likely due to the unique variety, this coffee offers a bright, juicy flavor, despite being a fully washed coffee.
Finca Monteblanco is situated on the crest of a hill in the vereda of Tocora. This small town is located south of Pitalito, in the San Adolfo municipality of the Huila department. At the top of the hill are the farm’s wet mill and drying facilities. The coffee is grown on the slopes below. Monteblanco is 18 hectares, about 180,000 square meters. It is a family-farm owned by Rodrigo Sanchez Valencia, managed in the tradition of coffee cultivation established by his grandfather.
Beginning in 2002, Rodrigo and his family began to understand the connection between the growing practices they used, and the effect on the final cup of coffee. They also recognized a trend amongst fellow growers, in which a farm would produce a crop of excellent quality, but would be unable to maintain that excellence. Rodrigo began to work to improve the quality of and consistency of his farm by focusing on consistent and disciplined farming practices.
Out of that venture comes this beautiful coffee of the purple caturra variety, one of the varieties his grandfather had planted in the 1980’s. On most coffee farms, the final crop exported is a conglomeration of several different coffee varieties (the species of tree which produces the coffee). It is rare to find coffees of a single variety from a single farm. However, they are often a treasure, as they offer quite a unique flavor profile. The caturra variety is a genetic offspring of the bourbon variety. Both varieties are commonly grown on South American coffee farms. The purple caturra variety is a sub-variety in which the cherries of the tree ripen to a deep shade of purple, rather than the bright red that is typical for coffee.
While it is difficult to necessarily deduce that the flavor of this particular coffee is most affected by the variety, it is likely that the quality which produces its purple cherries, also results in a unique flavor in the final cup.
When we first tasted a sample of this coffee in our roastery, we tasted it without knowing what coffee we were tasting. Upon tasting it, we thought it was a high-quality, naturally processed coffee from Africa or South America, which are often known for their bright, fruity characteristics. However, when it was revealed that this was a fully washed Colombian coffee, which boasted a deeply fruity and juicy acidity, we were blown away.
The real treasures in the world of coffee are the coffees which truly surprise you.
- Farm: Finca Monteblanco, owned by Rodrigo Sanchez Valencia
- Region: Vereda La Tocora, San Adolfo, Huila
- Process: Washed
- Elevation: 1730 meters
- Variety: Purple Caturra