Marco Fidel Rodriguez has been on our shelves yearly since 2015, but this time, it’s a tiny microlot-grade washed Pink Bourbon that we’ve been able to purchase exclusively in full.
We’ve featured many different coffees from Marco Fidel Rodriguez since 2015. In fact, he’s our favourite Colombian producer (he’s lovingly known within our team as MFR).
This season, we were able to buy exclusively a very small microlot-grade washed Pink Bourbon, which highlights the potential of the varietal to achieve complex and highly fruit-driven profiles. Nothing to envy from Geishas!
This year the harvest has been quite small, likely due to poor weather, so we’re very excited to bring you this coffee from Marco again to the Very Special line-up (the last time his name was here was March 2022). Long live MFR!
FINCA EL BALCON
Marco Fidel inherited Finca El Balcon from his father. The location of this 11-hectare patch of land is privileged: at 1780 metres above the sea level, it overlooks the Laboyos Valley on one side and lakes and waterfalls on the other.
Marco has been surrounded by coffee as far as he can remember: he is in his late 50s and has been producing specialty coffee for almost 20 years. Before this, he used to sell his crop wet or de-pulped—that is, unprocessed and before fermentation. After making the switch, he’s learned a lot about production, management and environmental and financial sustainability, creating a steady income for this family.
Marco Fidel works with his wife, Ruth, and his two sons. The family focuses on taking care of his coffee trees while he is in charge of managing the farm workers. The post-harvest process is carried out by the whole family.
Ruth also manages another undertaking, growing diverse plants and flowers for consumption and decoration. Their short-term plans are to renovate and improve their house, as well as to continue focusing on ways they can improve what they do on the farm.
MARCO AND PINK BOURBON
Marco first planted Pink Bourbon coffee trees eight years ago and planted a second lot of this variety around three years ago. It makes now around 20% of the crop, with the remainder being Caturra.
Pink Bourbon has great selling potential but it also has some challenges: more attention has to be paid during cherry picking to make sure they are at the right level of ripeness because the varietal can over-ripen very quickly and doesn’t last as long on the tree. Trees are more resilient to coffee leaf rust but also produce fewer cherries than other varieties.
HARVEST & PROCESS
The cherries grow under the shade of cachingo, guamo and cedro native trees, then picked at their ripest point.
The processing method is fully washed + fermented for 24 hours, then shade-dried in covered patios for 15-18 days and finally packed in Excelso EP Screen 15+ SCA Specialty Grade bags.
A LONG-TIME AFFAIR
We’ve been buying coffee from Marco for a while! Right now, a large part of his total crop comes to our roastery—big fans, as we said!
Here’s Reuben, Marco Fidel and his family back in 2015…
Green coffee certifications: Organic, Rainforest Alliance, and Fairtrade
All the images and information about this coffee and its producers have been kindly shared by the importer, Caravela, and edited by us, Sample Coffee (unless linked to or credited otherwise).
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