Finca Tamana, Colombia

Flavours of ripe cherry and cooked apple add complexity to a sweet, satisfying cup. Caramel and cocoa tones round out a winey finish.

Since 2012 we’ve been privileged to track and support Elias Roa’s work as a progressive coffee producer working in Huila, Colombia. We first visited Finca Tamana in 2013 but didn’t get back there on our trip to Colombia last year, instead, catching up with Elias at the ‘Best of Tarqui’ competition hosted by Nordic Approach and Fairfield Trading. He showed pictures of new projects and changes being made at the farm, as well as new quarters built for the workers, set up with a widescreen TV that allowed them all to watch the 2014 World Cup together. 

The last couple of harvests have been very tough for Elias. He stumped back the majority of his Caturra trees in 2014 in an attempt to alleviate the spread of Roya; they’ve fully grown again but are unfortunately still badly affected by the fungi. Working hard to keep them healthy, intervening with copper sprays and other fungicides, is very hard going. Other varieties planted on the farm, however, have a natural resistance to rust, and given the Tamana care and attention, are performing better and better on the cupping table. Employing strict harvesting and pre-sorting protocols, coupled with clean processing methods and slow drying the coffee under shaded parabolas, Elias is producing coffees with natural sweetness and a clean, transparent structure. The last harvest from late 2017 was very labour intensive, as the cherries took longer to mature due to extended cloud cover. This means more passes through the trees to pick just the ripe fruit, but a more concentrated flavour and sweet taste in the cup.  

This coffee is a mixture of Caturra and Castillo varieties. The fruit has been pulped after being density sorted by floating in water and sorted by hand for visual defects such as green cherries or insect damaged fruit. The mucilage heavy parchment is rinsed with spring water before being drained and fermented overnight, for between 12 and 16 hours. Once the sugars in the mucilage have broken down the coffee is washed in clean water, changing the water multiple times to allow the workers to skim off any floating seeds that would be less dense. After fermentation and washing, the parchment coffee is placed on raised beds in the sun for 24 hours before going under the parabolic shade dryers for between 20 and 30 days. Manipulating the shade and the ventilation to control the drying environment means that coffees from Finca Tamana retain their vibrancy and taste fresh for an extended period after they are harvested. 

All of this extra attention to detail means that workers at Finca Tamana receive wages over 50% higher than the market rate in the area. There is a great deal of information on the progressive approach to coffee production at Finca Tamana via Tim Wendelboe’s website, which we would highly recommend taking a look at. We do hope you enjoy our first filter coffee release of 2018! 

PRODUCER

Elias Roa at Finca Tamana

HARVEST

July - August 2017

PROCESS

Hand harvested and sorted, 12-16 hour fermentation, washed and shade dried.

VARIETY

Caturra & Castillo

REGION

El Pital, Huila

COUNTRY

Colombia

ALTITUDE

1,650 - 1,750 metres

ARRIVAL

November, 2017