A little over a decade ago, Ludavia Gonzales Cortes inherited a small piece of land in the Rioblanco municipality of Tolima, Colombia. In the years since, Ludavia and her husband Luis Eduardo Cuartas have expanded the family farm, called La Planada, to include 17 acres and 31,000 coffee trees. Micro-milling the coffee themselves – as is very common on Colombian estates of all sizes, but uncommon elsewhere in the world – adds value to their biannual harvest. Much of Colombia experiences two harvest cycles per year due to the proximity to the equator and a unique combination of topography and climate factors. After depulping and an 18-hour dry fermentation, the coffee is washed and then dried on raised beds under solar dryers.

Our Crown Jewel selection is 100% Yellow Caturra, a naturally occurring mutation of the heirloom Bourbon variety. First identified in Brazil in the early part of the 20th century, Caturra is a dwarf tree with resistance to windy conditions. It has proliferated extensively throughout the Americas, in part due to its high productivity (despite above average fertilization requirements) and the fact that the trees can be planted more densely than comparably yielding cultivars. It continues to be a popular choice in Colombia, however there has been a push to replace it wholesale with the more resistant variety Castillo. This has met resistance from some cuppers who believe Castillo is incapable of achieving the same quality of flavor.


This estate coffee does not conform to the standard Colombian bulk delineations of Supremo or Excelso, possessing a somewhat more varied screen size. Its moisture content looks normal, but the water activity is a little elevated and the density is very high. As far as what this might mean in the roaster, it’s likely that the coffee will require a little less effort to reach first crack than a coffee with similar MC% but lower aW, and it should respond nicely to sugar browning reactions.



This coffee is nice clean coffee that strikes a delicious balance between a citrus and floral acidity with dense chocolate low tones and a heavy mouthfeel. Our first roast, PR-411, was slightly shorter by 28 seconds and had an end temperature that was just 1.3 °F lower than our second roast, PR-412. The differences are minimal towards the end of the roast, but when looking at the two profiles side by side, we can see a diamond shape created just before the Maillard reactions begin. Curiously, the Maillard reactions start at almost exactly the same time in both roasts, but because of the different charge temperatures, additional heat is applied at different times. PR-411 has just a small increase in rate of rise with the increase to three gas and PR-412 has a much more severe incline in comparison because the same amount of heat is applied, but much further on in the roast.

Does this create much difference in flavor? It did not have huge impact and the table was split as to which profile was preferred. Chris enjoyed the clean green apple, honey and orange in PR-411 and I enjoyed the sweet orange, hibiscus, and heavy chocolate in PR-412.


As we tasted this coffee, our opinions were divided straight down the middle; the 7/10 split of coffees, as far as roast preference went. PR-411 boasted clear sugars, seasonally appropriate apple and sweet potato notes, but with a slightly thinner mouthfeel. PR-412 was a bit more showy, with lively citrus notes (blood orange and tangerine) and a touch of floral. Honestly, you won’t go wrong with either; PR-412 was very slightly more soluble, but both of these roasts were quite pleasant.

Origin Information

Luis Eduardo Cuartas
Yellow caturra
Tolima, Colombia.
April-Junio | October - December
1,750 meters
Clay minerals
Fully washed and dried on elevated tables inside solar dryers that provide protection from the rain

Background Details

This coffee is sourced from Finca La Planada a single estate owned by Luis Eduardo Cuartas and his family.  La Planada is located in the municipality of Rio Blanco within the department of Tolima, Colombia.  Luis and his wife Ludivia inherited a small piece of land and over time they have increased the farm’s size to 17 acres.  Luis and his family process their coffee at their own micro-wet mill and then dry their own coffee, typically on elevated tables inside solar dryers that provide protection from the rain.  Luis collaborates with an exporting company called Lohas Beans to gain access to the international market.  The goal of the partnership between Luis and Lohas Beans is to focus on quality and increase earnings from the sale of the coffee as a way to improve his family’s livelihood.