Introduction by Chris Kornman
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.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
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.
Roast Analysis by Jen Apodaca
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.
Brew Analysis by Evan Gilman
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.
This coffee is available in full size bags as well. Contact Us to find out more.