REGION: San Agustin, Huila
FARM: Various small-holders
VARIETY: Caturra, Typica, Bourbon, Castillo
PROCESS METHOD: Fully washed and dried at each farm
Through the town of San Augustin runs a river called Los Naranjos. Up the sides of this riverbank in to the mountains is a community of coffee growers with small, clean, and beautiful farms. Butterflies, hummingbirds, and giant lavender flowers are the norm.
This land is buffeted on the west by a 500 sq mile biosphere reserve called Cueva de los Quacharo. It is the place where two of Colombia's three mountain ranges converge and where ancient peoples lived and carved giant stone figures. It is a special place and the people who live here believe that the great forest tracts of the natural preserve protect their land from the violence of weather and give them a calm, peaceful place to live and farm.
In 2001, several of the farmers formed an association, La Asociacion Los Naranjos de San Augustin, to improve their managerial skills and gain access to the specialty coffee market.
Today there are 50 grower/members with about 150 hectares of coffee with an average farm of 2.8 hectares. Their yield is 1,500 - 2,000 kg per hectare during the main crop and about half that during the fly crop. This lot is a blend of various Los Naranjos farmers who produced similar cup profiles. During the fly crop, not enough quantity is produced to merit microlots, so the top cups are combined into one lovely lot.
Most farmers in this region keep a small portion of their best coffee to drink in their homes. They send out a bit at a time to be roasted by a local community member and have their fresh coffee for the next week.