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Adventures from the harvest: A journey to Popayan

We send Extract barista Henry Edwards from Verbier in snowy Switzerland to the coffee harvest at La Marianela in Colombia. This week he tries his hand at roasting and visits Popayan, the centre for milling and quality control.

Milling and roasting at Popayan

Having worked in the processing area at La Marianela for the past few weeks now, I was excited to see where the coffee was taken once dried and packed. Yesterday, Pablo kindly took me to Popayan where the milling and quality control takes place.

Racafe is in charge of providing coffee producers like La Marianela with milling capacity, the ability to test and grade the coffee as well as storage before it is shipped across the world. Large quantities of speciality and commercial coffee from all over the region are brought here straight from the plantations. I was amazed by just how quickly the coffee can go from crop to cup and it was incredible to follow this process end to end.

I was introduced to a Q-Grader called Maroly who gave me an introduction to roasting with a small Probat roaster - a micro version of the vintage roasters in the Extract roastery back in the UK.

We cupped some great quality coffee, comparing some commercial and speciality coffee as well as some geisha coffees and, of course, some of the exceptional ‘La Marianela’ Catimor.

These photos show my first attempt at roasting, one of our cuppings and a pic of Maroly and Pablo at Popayan.

Follow me on Instagram @henryjedwards for more photos and and snaps from the harvest.

Henry La Marianela Colombia Harvest Popayan

Henry La Marianela Colombia Harvest Cupping

Henry La Marianela Colombia Harvest Popayan Q Grader Pablo

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