Spillin' the Beans! : El Jefé
Tell me you were born in the Eighties, without telling me you were born in the Eighties...?
Step forward EL JEFÉ
Disco, neon, Miami Vice and Knight Rider. Belinda Carlisle, Saturday morning TV and Air Jordan's. Rubik's cubes, Atari and Sony Walkman...
El Jefé is Corojo Coffee Co's ode to all things good in the world ( according to @corojobob ) and as such we decided to name it after him. The gaffer. The payer of wages and the source of many a bad #dadjoke in the Roastery.
It should come as no surprise when we tell you the boss' favourite coffee is Colombian. That hedonistic mix of soft chocolatey acidity mixed with sweet fruity notes and caramel sweetness, all wrapped into a viscous mouthfeel, just don't miss...
Estate: San Augstin
Farmer: Various Small-holdings
Altitude: 1,520 - 1,650 MASL
Varietal: Caturra, Typica
Certification: Rain Forrest Alliance (RFA), Organic, Fair Trade (FT)
Processing: Fully Washed & Sun-dried
Tasting Notes: Medium, creamy body, bright acidity, Sweet, butterscotch aroma. Caramel, vanilla, dark chocolate, & nutty flavour. Plum & Stone fruit.
SCA Cupping Score: 84+
Colombia is the second-largest producer of coffee in the world and the largest producer of washed Arabica. The country is known for the high quality of its coffees, and it exports approximately 12.5 million bags annually—about half of which goes to the United States. Internal consumption is about 2 million bags annually.
Our Coffee Supplier, SKN Caribécafe; buys both Excelso beans (which are large), and Supremo beans (which are even larger). Excelso beans are a screen size of 15-16 and constitute the majority of Colombia's exports. It is possible for Supremo and Excelso coffee beans to be harvested from the same tree, as they're sorted by size after processing.
Huila is located in south Colombia and bordered by the mighty Andean sub ranges of “Cordillera Oriental” and “Cordillera Central”. The famous Huila coffee is grown on the slopes of the cordilleras, split by the Magdalena River which is the principal river of Colombia.
The year-round distribution of rainfall and ambient temperatures allow Huila ‘cafeteros’ to cultivate coffee up to 1,900 meters above sea level. The high altitude creates the trademark Huila acidity; while the greenhouse-like conditions provide for frequent flowering periods throughout the year, explaining the distinct floral aromas of the cup.
San Agustin is a municipality/town about a 45 minute drive from Pitalito in the south of Huila. The area is known for the ‘Colombian Massif’, which refers to a group of Andean mountains in Southern Colombia. It is home to the largest group of religious monuments and megalith sculptures in South America, constituting gods and mythical animals from Andean culture dating from the 1st century. The monuments comprise a UNESCO world heritage site.
Coffee farming in the remote region of South of Huila is different from some other regions of Colombia. More than farming, it is an art which has been passed on through generations. Every family does their own harvesting - usually with the help of neighbours. After the red and ripe cherries are picked, they are pulped by passing them through a manual pulper at the family farm (usually located close to the main house). The waste from this process will be used later as a natural fertilizer for the coffee trees. Coffee is then fermented anywhere from 12 to 18 hours, depending on the weather, and then washed using cold, clean water.
Once this process is complete, many of the farmers sun dry their parchment on patios or on the roofs of their houses (elbas). Farmers in this part of Huila have designed a mechanism by which they can slide the roof with pulleys to cover the coffee in case of rain. Some farmers dry their coffee on parabolic beds under the sun. These parabolic beds, known locally as marquesinas – which are constructed a bit like ‘hoop house’ greenhouses, with airflow ensured through openings in both ends – both protect the parchment from rain and mist as it is dried and prevent condensation from dripping back on the drying beans.
The parchment is delivered directly by the producer our exporting partner’s warehouse in Pitalito, where it will eventually be dry milled. At this stage, a premium over prevailing market prices has already been agreed with these exceptional producers. Once the coffee is received, it is carefully graded and cupped. Additional premiums are paid based on the cup score, evaluated by Q Graders.
The beans have been carefully selected to meet the San Agustin quality standards. Only those who meet the cup profile standards are then milled, sorted and classified for export under the strict supervision of quality control professionals. This unique coffee is carefully selected by electronic sorters to produce a zero defect coffee.
Whilst Huila is naturally blessed with optimal coffee growing geography, the key to great quality coffees from San Agustin (such as this lot) are the growers themselves. Coffee farming within the region is overwhelmingly small-scale. Indeed, approximately 80% of producers from the region farm coffee on less than 3 hectares of land. These small farms are tended by individual families with labour only very rarely being contracted out, which leads to more thorough and intensive management practices and great pride in the final product – which is, itself, an extension of the family.
To find out more about our coffee, click the links below:
SCA Cupping Scores : Protocols & Best Practices