We're told that when this coffee lot hit the "arrival table" in Cauca for cupping and potential purchase, the CEO of a major American coffee importing company sent the following message to his coffee buyer: "Killer coffee. Winner!"
That brief assessment speaks volumes about this impressive Colombian. It was produced by 244 women who live and grow coffee in and around eleven cities within the revered coffee region of Cauca, Colombia. Members of the Women's Association of Coffee Growers of Cauca, as they are formally known, have created a versatile coffee that yields fruit-forward notes of pineapple and black cherry, a buttery body and inviting suggestions of nutmeg and vanilla. As delicious as this coffee is, its quality is heightened by a compelling origin.
Most smallholder farmers in Colombia process their own coffee with an unmatched degree of expertise. These female growers have adopted that same approach. That they are responsible for processing their coffee post-harvest to such a degree of excellence, is, quite frankly, wonderful and rare. Members harvest only fully ripe cherries, depulp them on the same day the coffee was harvested, process on their own farms, and dry the processed coffee on raised beds in the sun.
These women are the heads of their households and derive their livelihood, as well as the livelihoods of their families, solely from the cultivation and production of coffee. Their mission is to improve their families' quality of life through coffee farming and to contribute positively to their association by working together to share resources, knowledge and support.
The Fair Trade and Organic certifications earned by these women underscore the passion and commitment of their work ethic. These factors add significant value to their crop, and that quality is ultimately passed on to the coffee roaster and the consumer.
Grower: Members of the Women's Association of Coffee Growers of Cauca
Variety: Caturra, Castillo
Region: Cauca, Colombia
Altitude: 1500-1750 meters above sea level (masl)
Soil: Volcanic loam
Process: Fully washed after pulping and fermenting, then dried in the sun