Colombia S. America – January 12-16, 2015
What makes Joffrey’s special is our attention to the actual bean. Yes, the bean. We have personal relationships with coffee farms around the globe to find the most outstanding beans. We live by the soil to cup experience. This past week our roastmasters headed to Colombia, South American in search of Single Origin coffee beans. They visited coffee farms that sell our prized “Micro Lot” coffees (which means rare and extraordinary) and are in search of some exceptional coffees to roast especially for you this year.
For a long time coffee from Colombia was tightly regulated by the government (FNC) and the roasters didn’t get a say in the lot they could order, meaning most of the coffee was a mix of beans from several different farms. The last couple of years the government has loosened their grip and allowed farmers to sell their prized “Micro Lot” coffees direct to roasters who seek new and exceptional coffee beans. We are always looking to discover new and different coffees from areas such as this. Colombia has experienced a rebirth after several years of bad luck with weather and insect issues but they recovered nicely and have been said to be producing an even better quality of coffee than ever before; so we went to see and taste for ourselves.
DAY 1-2: Chris De Mezzo and apprentice Miguel have arrived in Colombia, South America and have travelled to the state of Valle del Cauca, known as the Armenia region.
“We went immediately to a sampling session in Cafe La Esperanza’s cupping and quality control lab in Caicedonia, located in the state of Valle del Cauca. We were pleased to be introduced to some “Micro Lot” coffees that the producer partners of La Esperanza have been experimenting with. We cupped some Honey Processed and Natural Processed coffees while we were there. While these processes are quite common in Central America they are relatively new to Colombia. For years Colombia has processed almost all of their coffee using the traditional washed method. These alternate ways of processing the beans produces a more intense level of fruit flavors.
Cupping and Training apprentice Miguel.
I have been cupping coffee for 28 years now and I am always eager to try something new and exciting, and share this information with the people who matter the most; the producers (farmers) themselves. Because we are roasters, not growers, we know what taste profiles our customers prefer. By working with our producer partners directly, our open and honest feedback helps them grow better coffee, thus resulting in a better roasted coffee by Joffrey’s. All in all, everyone wins!
One of the most rewarding aspects of my job as roastmaster, besides trying all these new coffees, is watching my assistant Miguel’s expertise broaden each time we experiment with coffee together. Any good visionary has a partner who embodies the same passion as himself; Miguel represents Joffrey’s in this way. Great things lie ahead for Joffreys.
Meet Joffrey’s New Baby:
We have planted a tree in Joffrey’s honor with the hope that one day it will contribute to an exclusive single origin coffee from Colombia. It may take a few years, but we are patient and we plan to come back to this beautiful farm and check up on our baby each year! We are hoping this tree produces the same great coffee as its grandparents, who were known for their pleasant floral fragrance, delicious Lemon/Citrus highlights and medium to mild acidity with a great clean finish. If it sounds enticing in writing, I assure you, it is even better in your cup.”
Day 3-5: Sourcing the beans: We traveled from State of Valle Del Cacua to the state of Risaralda and the town of Pereira; both known for exceptional coffees. This morning we were guests of the Colombian National Coffee Federation (FNC) local headquarters and producer support center. There we cupped several coffees from all over the state with some of the senior cuppers from the federation.
We like sampling the coffees with the experts who do so daily so we can share ideas and observations and become better cuppers. We try these pre-ship samples as it helps us become better roasters and allows us to give the producers some idea of what we like and don’t like about certain coffees and processes. We will visit a few more farms before we head back to Caicedonia, then it’s an early morning visit to the dry mill (where the parchment is removed and the beans are sorted according to size and density). nowtime It’s important to visit all the stages of bean production. We then flew back to Bogota to visit the state of Medellin for more new experiences and some great new coffee discoveries.
With a countryside as beautiful as this and coffee this exceptional we will have a wonderful single origin coffee to offer some time later this year.