This is the very first time we’ve ever tasted the Chilli Bourbon varietal, and we can only say… it’s TOTALLY WILD.
What makes this coffee very special is its crazy flavour. When we first blind-cupped this sample next to a few others, it was just so distinctive and mind-blowing, just something else. When we learnt more about it, we understood. It’s a varietal we had never even heard of, grown in volcanic ash soil and processed carefully by an experienced producer with the natural lactic method. Wild combo.
ABOUT JAIRO & SANTA MONICA
Jairo Arcila is a third-generation coffee grower from Quindio, Colombia. He is married to Luz Helena Salazar and they have two sons Carlos and Felipe, who you may already know from a previous VS feature, Jardines del Edén.
Jairo’s first job was as Mill Manager for Colombia’s second-largest coffee exporting company, where he stayed until his retirement in 2019. Even though he was working full-time, he found the time and curiosity to start a gig of his own; in 1987, he bought Finca La Esmeralda, a coffee farm where he could play and earn a bit of extra income. This effort brought some fruits, and he could save enough to buy 5 additional farms: Villarazo, Mazatlan, Santa Monica, Maracay and then Buenos Aires.
With the guidance of his sons, who co-founded the importing company Cofinet and know very well the specialty coffee. scene, he’s learnt a lot about the latest trends and best practices. This has prompted him to improve the harvest and processing procedures, and also to experiment with exotic varietals and uncommon methods.
Jairo also grows other agricultural products such as mandarin, orange, plantain, and banana. His favourite way to start the day is with a really good breakfast, even better if he’s surrounded by family. A wise man indeed.
ABOUT CHILLI BOURBON
We know very little about this rare natural hybrid. It seems like it originated as a mutation of Bourbon in the area of Acevedo, Huila. It produces distinctive spicy notes, as you will likely feel when you brew it.
Here on the Santa Monica farm, it grows on volcanic ash soil.
ABOUT THE NATURAL LACTIC PROCESS
This lot was exposed first to a dry aerobic fermentation of 24 hours (the natural part). Then, the fermented cherries were placed inside Grainpro bags for 90 hours and maintained at a temperature below 22 degrees Celsius (the lactic part). In this sealed environment, the bacteria feed on the carbohydrates and sugars found on the mucilage, leading to a high concentration of lactic acid.
Lastly, this coffee was placed on raised beds to sundry, until achieving 11% moisture content.
BREW, SHARE AND ENJOY
Time to brew and get fully into the wild! Check out any brewing notes below, or send us an email/Instagram message for tips and guidance. Enjoy, and please let us know your thoughts!
All the images and information about this coffee and producers have been kindly shared by its importer, Cofinet, and edited by us, Sample Coffee (unless linked to or credited otherwise).
Resting beans inside the sealed bag helps develop peak flavours and acidity
Learn how long and why you should wait in our brewing window recommendations.
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