Plinio Paz, Colombia

Delicate fruit notes of melon, pear and pineapple complement core flavours of milk chocolate and nougat in this transparent, sweet and layered cup.

We were very nervous about being able to secure great Colombian coffees this season. When Richard was travelling in August there were problems with the very slow ripening of coffee cherries because of excess cloud cover. Rather than two separate and distinct harvests, the main crop and a fly crop called ‘Mitaca’, the cherries were ripening at such a slow and uneven rate that the two harvests have, for some producers, blended into one drawn-out period of picking. This means more labour, but more evenly ripe lots of cherries being picked in smaller quantities.

We made the final selections for our Colombian coffees a little later than usual, but we’ve tried to line up a range of various cup profiles to show off the best of what we tasted and saw this year. The first coffee we want to release to kick things off is this small lot from Plinio Paz, a new name both for us and Nordic Approach, with whom we travelled to find this coffee.

A great example of how clean and delicate Colombian coffees can be, this producer is based in Bruselas near the small town of Pitalito in Southern Huila, and is growing a mixture of Caturra and Castillo. This lot is entirely comprised of Caturra and tastes to us like melon, milk chocolate and nougat, with a very clean and transparent structure. We’ve had the coffee shipped to us in vacuum-sealed boxes, which goes some way to preserving a fresh and clean character in the coffee.

Plinio Paz himself has incredibly tidy and well-organised processing and drying areas. He conforms to the typical processing style of Huila, letting the pulped coffee undergo dry fermentation, in his case for 30 hours, before fully washing the parchment free of the broken down mucilage. The coffee is then put out to dry under shade in his parabolic dryers for around 20 days. The combination of variety, terroir and processing style has resulted in really clean yet complex coffee, with a very silky mouthfeel and delicate fruit notes. It is a testament to Plinio’s work as a quality focussed producer, as he has invested in his mill and drying facilities, and so is now able to produce coffees that really stand out on the cupping table.

PRODUCER

Plinio Paz at Finca Bella Vista

HARVEST

July - August 2017

PROCESS

30hr Dry fermentation, fully washed, dried under shade for 20 days

VARIETY

Caturra

REGION

Bruselas, Pitalito, Huila

COUNTRY

Colombia

ALTITUDE

1,800 metres

ARRIVAL

November, 2017