Farm: Finca Buena Vista
Varietal(s): 70% Colombia, Caturra & Castillo
Processing: Washed, fermented for 24 hours & dried in beds under plastic roof
Altitude: 1,850 meters above sea level
Owner: Ignacio Quintero
Town: Alto de Topa
Region: Inzá, Cauca
Total size of farm: 10 hectares
Area under coffee: 10 hectares
This microlot was produced and processed by Ignacio Quintero, a smallholder member of the ASORCAFE - Inzá, Cauca producer group. Produced at 1,850 metres above sea level, this very special lot was selected out from the rest of the organization’s producers as being of exceptional quality.
This coffee provides a great showcase for what this remote and often overlooked region of Colombia has to offer. The municipality of Inzá is located in the corner of the Department of Cauca, bordering with Tolima and Huila and looking out to the west over the Pacific Ocean. Situated on the “Macizo Colombiano” (the Colombian Plateau), which surrounds the high peaks of Tolima and Huila, the region is an important source of water and wildlife, in addition to being prime coffee growing land. Ignacio is a medium size grower, but during the past two decades he has worked hard to improve his farm and to expand it; and his hard work has paid off! He is now one of the largest producers associated with his growers’ cooperative, ASORCAFE. Ignacio’s growth has not led him to sacrifice his quality. Quite the contrary, producing at a large scale, he has now been able to take a more experimental approach to processing and has invested in new varietals. His goal is to consistently produce coffee of the highest quality possible. ASORCAFE represents, in total, some 450 producers from across the Department.
This specific lot, however, has been selected only from Sr. Quintero’s production. Every single producer delivering to the group has their lot cupped by the Association’s cupping lab in Pedregal. Lots scoring 85 points or more are reserved for the Inzá, Cauca microlot offered by Mercanta. However, encouraged by our partners in Colombia, Santa Barbara Estates, the group has also begun to reserve those lots that cup even higher than 85 points or that demonstrate exceptional or unique qualities. These stringent standards result in identifying very small, very special microlots, such as this one, being made available for export.
The association of coffee growers, ASORCAFE, was founded in 2004 by 10 coffee growers with an entrepreneurial spirit who were tired of private parchment buyers who were paying them below national prices. The region’s violent past, with a heavy presence of FARC guerrillas, had historically prevented the FNC (Colombia’s excellent national coffee board) and specialty-focused exporters from establishing a presence in the region. As violence has diminished, it has enabled the growers in the region to seek increased access to markets for quality, not only taking advantage of the region’s wonderful coffee-growing conditions but also the economic resource that nearby tourist destinations bring (for instance, the World Heritage Site “Parque Nacional Arqueológico de Tierradentro”).
In the future, Mercanta fully expects increasingly great things in coffee from the area.