Colombia

Pitalito

AAA

Released May 25, 2015

Tasting notes

Sugarcane, butterscotch
Medium bodied with balanced acidity

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.

Coffee being delivered in Popayan, similar to the process in Pitalito

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.

Country: Colombia

Region: Southern Pitalito, Huila

Varietals: Caturra, Castillo

Process: Washed

Producer: Pedro Claros, Deifilia Diaz And Rosalba Burgos

Map showing location of Colombia Pitalito AAA


What makes up Colombia Pitalito AAA?

Varietals

Castillo varietal

Castillo is named after the researcher Jamie Castillo, who helped develop the varietal in 2005 by Cenicafe, Colombia’s coffee research centre

Caturra varietal

Caturra is a natural mutation of Bourbon that was originally discovered in Brazil in 1937, considered to be the first naturally occurring mutation ever discovered.

The location

Coffee from Colombia

Colombia is one of the largest coffee producers in the world and benefits greatly from having one of the most unique and complex set of micro-climates of all coffee producing nations.


The Huila region of Colombia

This region boasts the perfect combination of high quality soil and geography and is quickly becoming one of the largest coffee producing regions in Colombia. One of the best regarded regions for high quality, fruit driven coffee.

Farm processes

Washed process

Machines are used to remove the flesh from the coffee cherry before being fermented in water, washed again, and finally sun dried. This process tends to result in more distinct, cleaner flavours.

2 brew notes from Sample Brew Crew

Coffee delivery: coffee in resealable bag and farm information card

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