Castillo is an intense and sweet coffee with flavours of herbs, dark chocolate and subtle notes of red fruit in the background.
|Dimensions||23 × 15 × 7.5 cm|
El Pital, Huila
Whole Coffee Beans
Out of stock
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.
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. 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 fully ripe at a deep purple colour, the herbal flavours are tamed and you tend to get more sweetness and fruity flavours in the cup. It all boils down to how you harvest, process and roast the coffee and of course how healthy the coffee trees were during production.
The coffee is selectively hand picked by hired pickers under supervision of Elias. Cherries are hand-sorted before they are processed to make sure only ripe cherries are processed together.
After de-pulping, the parchment coffee with the mucilage on is fermented for 14-16 hours over night in clean stainless steel tanks. The fermentation is stopped when the mucilage is easy to clean off and before the coffee flavour is influenced by negative fermentation flavours. The coffee is then washed in clean water by using an eco-mill which is a mechanical mucilage remover. The eco-mill reduces water waste from the average 50-100 litres of water per kilo of coffee with traditional washing methods to only 0,5 – 1 litre per kilo. After washing the coffees are soaked for 24 hours in clean water in tiled cement tanks. All ﬂoaters (beans with low density) are removed during the washing and soaking process.
After the soaking stage the clean parchment coffee is dried in parabolic dryers and drying beds covered with shade nets to prevent the beans from over heating. The coffees are raked throughout the day to ensure even drying. Drying normally takes from 20 to 30 days and once the moisture content is below 11% it gets packed and stored in air tight grain pro bags. All our coffees from Finca Tamana are vacuum packed before it is shipped to Norway.
We strongly recommend using the correct measurements and brewing techniques when you brew our coffees. Use a digital scale both to measure water and coffee in order to get consistent results, and we recommend using between 60 to 70 grams of coffee per litre (1000g) of water, depending on the brewing method, water quality and coffee used.
We strongly recommend using VST filter baskets. Both the 18g, 20g and the 22g basket is great for our coffee. The VST filters makes it a lot easier to extract the espresso properly which gives a lot more sweetness in the cup. They are also more or less identical to each other which makes it easy to be more consistent when brewing on several groups at the same time. You can buy the filters on our webshop, just make sure they fit your machine (ours fits all La Marzocco machines and machines with 58mm filter baskets). With the VST 18g filter basket, we recommend the following brewing parameters: 18-19g freshly-ground coffee, 25-35s brewing time, 35-38g of final brew liquid in the cup, 93°C-94°C brew water temperature.
I first met Elias back in 2007 when I was traveling around Colombia with my friend and coffee exporter mr. Alejandro Renjifo. The aim of the trip was to find delicious coffees and potential farmers that I could work with to make sure we got a steady supply of tasty coffees from Colombia. While passing through the state of Huila I visited a small group of farmers in Acevedo that was lead by Elias. I remember we drank hot chocolate (!) and ate bread and cheese at his house and Elias gave me an impression of being a passionate and hard working farmer. Later that year I received a few samples from him but unfortunately his coffee was not meeting my quality requirements so nothing really came out of it.
We did meet a few times more on my later visits to Colombia but it was not until 2011 that we started discussing working together. There were a couple of reasons that triggered my interest in cooperating with Elias. He had show interest in meeting me every time I went to Colombia and he had also bought Finca Tamana which happened to be situated next to a farm that I had been purchasing small quantities of coffee from in the past. It meant that I knew there was potential for growing good coffee in the area and since Finca Tamana was much bigger than the average 2 hectare coffee farm in Colombia I knew that there was potential for producing enough quality coffee for our demand.
We buy coffee directly from Elias Roa, the farmer. Fairfield Trading, the exporter, provides milling and logistical service and the coffee is imported by ourselves directly to Norway.
We have been buying coffee from Elias every year since 2012 and we will continue to do so in future years.
Browse our brewing guides to learn how to make great tasting coffee at home. No matter if you’re making french press, filter coffee, iced coffee or espresso – we’ll help you get the most out of your coffee.