A few weeks ago we set off for a trip to Colombia to visit some farms we know, and some others we don’t, to source new and exciting coffees. The trip allowed us to further research some familiar places, like the Veracruz and San Pascual farms, test the new season crop, and bring home a better knowledge and understanding of what makes these coffees great. To that end, this week we are re-launching this season’s Veracruz Espresso. In previous years, the farm’s experimental cold-fermentation process has made this coffee a stand-out. However, through further experimentation, this year’s crop has undergone an extended ferment. This has brought vibrant red-fruit flavour to the cup, alongside a honey-sweetness and plum-like acidity. The 5 day fermentation process is stabilised by adding 5 consecutive days pick to the tanks, thereby controlling acidity level and halting any over-fermentation that can result in too much acetic acidity/vinegary qualities. This also helps control bacteria and yeast production that can spoil coffee at this stage.
The Veracruz farm is one of the smaller that make up the Santa Barbara Estates. It is home primarily to Colombia and Caturra varietals, but also, excitingly, to some new and unique varietals including Geisha and a Kenyan Urrao we are keeping our eye on! Veracruz was the first farm we journeyed to on our trip, and the setting was stunning, although we were later to discover each farm had its own breath-taking backdrop. The 16 hectares of coffee plantation surround a farm house and small mill where the picked coffee can be added to the fermentation tanks the same day. The steep hillsides create good irrigation for the plants, but make picking a challenge! We practically slid our way clumsily through the farm, but are very glad we did! We got into the thick of the farm to see the last of this season’s cherries ripening on the branches. One of the unique qualities of Colombia, is that coffee is harvested all year round.
Veracruz is a very special farm to us. Not only have we been buying this coffee for 3 years now, we were hooked by the experiments being made with fermentation from the start, but it was the first farm we saw this year. It was peaceful, but at the same time so alive. Before leaving the farm we enjoyed a glass of homemade Lulo juice on the terrace, as well as a cup of coffee of course, and had time to take in the surroundings whilst talking with Pedro, the farmer and owner of the Estates. Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of this trip was having this time to ask all the questions that have stacked up ever since we started working with these farms, and ever since we even started roasting coffee!
It’s hardly surprising that following our adventure to Colombia and the Veracruz farm, our newly launched espresso is already the roastery favourite this month! Share our love for these beans and get it now, fresh from the farm!
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