Alba Diela López Riascos | Finca El Mirador
1950 – 2000 masl
Medina Espejo, Buesaco, Nariño, Colombia
Honey processed, depulped and immediately dried on raised screens in the sun
June - September
Year after year, Alba Diela López Riascos has delivered some stunning coffee. So when the next harvest comes in you have to ask, what has she done this time? Well she hasn’t taken her foot on the gas pedal since she first made her presence known to the international coffee world with a plus 90 cup score and a sixth place finish in the 2018 Colombian Cup of Excellence. The location of her 17 acre farm called El Mirador, in the award winning community of Medina Espejo in the municipality of Buesaco within the department of Nariño, is worthy of some discussion. Two volcanos (Doña Juana in the north and Galeras in the south) are responsible for many of the rich mineral traits found in the soil composition. Nariño’s proximity to the equator also means intense exposure to the sun (relatively constant and powerful year-round), which influences the cherry maturation rate. And the municipality of Buesaco has an interesting micro-climate caused by warm air that rises at night from deep canyons, acting like a protective blanket for the coffee plants. As a result of these combined attributes, coffee plants passively absorb the sun’s energy during the day and then come alive at night when the conditions are less harsh. This translates into concentrated flowering and long cherry maturation periods. All of these factors produce exceptional coffee frequently rewarded in the Colombia Cup of Excellence, including the 2017 first place coffee also from Medina Espejo. But another important factor is the persistent support of an export company called Inconexus, which builds producer confidence and the capability to consistently produce excellent coffee. This is certainly the case between Inconexus and Alba. Over the years Inconexus has developed a successful model of sourcing specialty coffee in some of the most renowned growing regions of Colombia. The key is creating a support network for producers who can learn from one another. Through this model Alba has implemented exquisite processing protocols that include meticulous cherry selection and innovative drying strategies. Last year, Alba’s honey processed coffee was an example of the partnership’s evolution in processing innovation. But like we said, Alba has gone full speed ahead this year with another processing innovation and added a maceration step and a second anaerobic fermentation, wherein, the meticulously sorted cherry are fermented in containers for 24 hours, then depulped, and fermented again with the mucilage in sealed bags for 48 hours. Alba also continues to dry the coffee on raised beds with mucilage still attached (honey processed), eliminating the washing stage, which greatly reduces water consumption.