This week’s coffee is a mix from three microlot farms in the southern Huila region of Colombia. Rosalba Burgos and Pedro Claros are both farmers in the town of Pitalito, and Deifilia Diaz’s farm is just over the hill in the town Acevedo.
As small lots of coffee from farms so close together, all of a similar quality, they were combined at the warehouse in Pitalito to add complexity and balance to the coffee. The combined lot is also more practical for export.
We were impressed by how great this coffee tastes, so we’re sharing it with you even though it’s not our usual single-farm approach.
What’s with the AAA?
The coffee industry often uses extra letters after the name of a coffee to indicate extra details about the beans. Not along ago we shared the Gakuyuni PB with subscribers, where the PB indicated a pea berry (there’s more detail on what pea berry means on that coffee page).
What letters are added and what they signify often varies depending on the country.
Virmax, our importing partner in Colombia, grades each coffee when it’s delivered by farmers in each town. To be considered for export through Virmax, the coffee needs to score at least 83.
A coffee which scores 83 or 84 is given an A grade, those scoring 85-86 are AA, and anything 87 and above is given a AAA grade score, the highest possible quality.
The price paid to the farmer increases to reflect the grade.
How Stuff Works has a a short video about the grading and export process at Caravela which was filmed at Popayán, a town just west of Pitalito.
There’s also a great interview with Virmax about their processes in Colombia and how they work with farmers to improve quality at the Square Mile Roasters blog.