Your Coffee Subscription – June 2023

Dear coffee subscriber,

While we are impatiently waiting for the fresh crop coffees from Kenya, Ethiopia, Honduras and El Salvador to arrive, let us take some time to enjoy some rare coffees from what I believe is the best harvest from Finca Tamana, ever. As you may know, since 2012 I have been working very closely with Elias and his wife Bellanid on their farm Finca Tamana in Huila, Colombia in order ti improve the quality of their coffees. One of the major changes we have done to the farm is to plant new and old “exotic” cultivars of coffee to see if we can find some coffee trees that produce better flavours than the traditional ones that everyone grows in Colombia.

This work is tedious and can take up to 10 years from the first seeds are planted until we see a good production of a new coffee that we like. So in this months shipment we are sending out coffees that we planted with Elias over the years, the Caturron, a blend of “exotic”” cultivars (exclusive for our subscribers) and the new Castillo Tambo.
To learn more check out our monthly subscription tasting video.
I hope you will enjoy the coffees.

Ps. I just got notice that the fresh crop Kenyan coffees arrived in our warehouse in Oslo today….

Finca Tamana Caturron (1st and 4th bag)

Flavour notes: Herbal, papaya and tropical fruit
Producer: Elias Roa & Bellanid Sanchez
Harvest: June – July 2022
Origin: El Pital, Huila, Colombia
Process: Washed
Cultivar: Caturron

This is the very second harvest of the Caturron cultivar from Finca Tamana. Caturron is a local cultivar discovered in Huila that to be honest we don’t really know the genetic background of. Most likely it comes from either a Variedad Colombia or Castillo selection, but the cultivar seems to be uniform with distinct oblong beans and it is showing good resistance against leaf rust.

Elias and Bellanid planted this cultivar a few years back to see if it could offer a better cup quality and to my surprise the flavours were really distinct yet also a bit hard to describe. It tasted really herbal but at the same time very fruity like tropical fruits. Some of the local cuppers we showcased the coffee to thought the coffee was over-fermented or that there was something wrong with the cups, as they had never tasted a flavour profile like that in Colombia before. After tasting several different pickings and batches we quickly understood that this was a consistent flavour profile for the coffee. I personally really enjoy the flavours and think it is kind of wild and fruity and have therefore encouraged Elias and Bellanid to plant more of it.

The Caturron is for sure a very distinct coffee and I really hope you will enjoy it.

Finca Tamana Varietales (2nd & 5th bag)

Flavour notes: Fruity & Floral
Producer: Elias Roa & Bellanid Sanchez
Harvest: June – July 2022
Origin: El Pital, Huila, Colombia
Process: Washed
Cultivar: SL28, Geisha, Java & Sidra

Since we started working with Elias and Bellanid we have been planting many different exotic cultivars together with them on their farm. We do this in order to see if they can produce new and interesting coffee flavours so that they will be able to offer more unique and higher quality coffees from Finca Tamana in the future.

This work is tedious and we normally say that from when we plant the first seeds until we have a good production of something new and unique it can take up to 10 years. (And there are no guarantees for success.) Over the years there are several cultivars we have abandoned because they do not produce well or the flavours are generic and uninteresting. Still we are getting closer and closer to finding something really good, but still there is very little production of each of these new cultivars.

During the last harvest we cupped a lot of them and decided to select all the good tasting ones. The volumes were so small of each lot that we had to mix them together. We ended up with 430 kilos in total which is shipped exclusively to our subscribers. So, this coffee is a mix of 4 different coffee cultivars named SL28, Geisha, Java & Sidra. The result is a floral and fruity coffee with tea like and winey notes and because it is a blend of 4 different cultivars you can expect subtle differences in each brew you make.

Finca Tamana Castillo Tambo (3rd or 6th bag)

Flavour notes: Herbal, caramel & chocolate
Producer: Elias Roa & Bellanid Sanchez
Harvest: June – July 2022
Origin: El Pital, Huila, Colombia
Process: Washed
Cultivar: Castillo Tambo 

Castillo is the advanced variedad Colombia hybrid developed by the Colombian research organisation Cenicafe. The researchers spent over 30 years breeding this cultivar that is resistent to leaf rust and has potential to produce a very good cup quality. Since it’s launch a few years ago, Colombia experienced a huge outbreak of leaf rust, but most farmers recovered in record time as the Colombian coffee growers federation helped supporting them with new Castillo seedlings to replace the traditional susceptible cultivars like Bourbon and Caturra. It means that over 60% of the coffee grown in Colombia today is Castillo cultivars. But what about the cup quality? There has been a lot of scepticism among the quality driven coffee professionals and a fear that the tasty Caturra will be replaced by an inferior hybrid like Castillo. I will not debate here wether one is better than the other, but all I can say is that I have both tasted exceptional Caturra and Castillo coffees as well as terrible versions of both in the past. A lot of coffee tasters say that in general the hybrids can have a slight more herbal aftertaste, which can be true, but we have found that when the cherries are picked at a deep purple colour, the herbal flavours are muted and you get more sweetness and fruity flavours in the cup. I personally believe it all boils down to how you harvest, process and roast the coffee and of course how healthy the coffee trees were during production.

This particular Castillo comes from the regional selection named Tambo. There are several different types of Castillo and this is one of three types being produced at Tamana. I have been fortunate to be able to taste many of the different Castillo selections over the years and in my opinion the one that has been consistently tasting better than the rest is the Castillo Tambo. It can sometimes have a delicate floral flavour in addition to the well known sweet, chocolate, caramel, herbal and fruity flavours you typically find in these hybrid coffees.

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