If you haven’t recently studied a good map of Colombia, I recommend it. I have a cheap but pretty good atlas I picked up on sale when the Emeryville Borders went out of business a number of years back. I like to study it occasionally; it’s my idea of a good time.
Running South to North from the border of Ecuador to the Caribbean Sea the great Magdalena river cuts its way through the spectacular Andes, creating the river valleys which are now household names to coffee buyers. Several distinct growing regions, flavor profiles, and modes of production are found here, from large private estates to family micro-farms, modest FTO Coops to the vast network of the Colombian Coffee Federation.
Santa Marta, Sierra Nevada, Santander, Ocamonte, Bucaramunga, Antioquia, Medellin, Boyaca, Manizales, Armenia, Tolima, Cali, Cauca, Popayan, Huila, Garzon, Gigante, San Agustin, Pitalito, Buesaco, Narino, Pasto…I think it’s time to re-read Love in the Time of Cholera.
The main harvest is in, and we have a comprehensive Colombian selection to consider, coffees to fit any budget, from Budwieser to Veuve Clicquot.
Here, I would like to recommend a few noteworthy lots still available:
Beginning with all the Mejor de Narino lots. Beautiful coffees grown so high the bees need oxygen masks. All our skeptical cuppers were impressed by these lots.
Evan Gilman on RC 40579 – Colombia Mejor de Narino Leonardo Loaiza 2100MT Caturra, “I really enjoyed this lot. Very sweet and limey.”
Another universally loved lot, RC 40398 – Colombia FTO Cauca AMUCC. John Cossette says, “Velvety rich caramel chocolate, perfect blender.”
John C’s value pick, RC 40373 – Colombia Huila Supremo 17/18, “Superb, clear, clean, juicy caramel.”
Chris Kornman on RC 40249 – Colombia Organic Tolima ASOPEP, “Cherry cola, clean, baked orange, salted caramel, graham cracker.”
Kevin Morales on RC 40136W – Colombia Huila Excelso EP in Seattle, “Orange, brown sugar.”
For fans of the fruity, Caitlin McCarthy-Garcia on RC 40307 – Colombia Organic La Pradera Estate, “Cherry, lemon, edgy reds fruits.”
And finally, a go to coffee for Royal: RC 40563 – Colombia FTO Ocamonte Santander (intend ship 2/3 to Oakland), a sentimental favorite of mine.
I always try to let sentimentality affect my judgement.