Colombia Tarqui (200g)
Deep, balanced, intense. Nut, flowers, lavender, stonefruit, sweet cocoa in aroma and cup. Sweetly crisp acidity. Lively , lightly syrupy mouthfeel. The balance and completeness that characterizes the entire profile stretches into a long, citrus like grapefruit finish.
Tarqui is one of our main focus areas in Huila. It is in the Central Cordillera of the Andes Mountains, with coffee growing in altitudes up to 2000 masl, with rich and varied micro climates. In the northern part the main harvest is between July-August and the mitaka or mid-harvest is between November-December. In the southern parts this is reversed. This means you can have fresh coffee from Tarqui all year. The farmers are small, having 1-3 hectares each, and are often organized in groups. We have two major producer groups of 10-20 farmers that we work with, as well as individual producers in different areas.
Tarqui is dense with coffee growers, and together with our exporter we have been working to identify the best farmers in the region. We are now at the point where we have a stable and committed group of supreme farmers that we are following up with and want to work with us. Every season there are new farmers that are approaching us because they have heard good things about us, which is a fantastic position to be in. At the purchasing point in the city of Tarqui, Ana Beatriz is doing a strict quality control on all the coffees that come in, and only the ones that pass are being bought. She is also communicating with all the farmers, and gives them feedback and gathers information. This way they can keep improving, discover new farmers and areas, and raise the general level of production in Tarqui.
We got to know Tarqui via Nordic Approach. Nordic Approach is a sourcing company focusing solely on high quality green coffees. We do the groundwork to identify, improve, select, and import the best coffees from the most interesting origins. Every coffee they buy or forward to a client is selected based on the cup profile. They believe transparency through the chain and premiums going back to the producers is the only way to achieve a sustainable quality coffee production. Our cooperation with Nordic started on 2016 and all of our coffees are based on their quality of transparency..
ARRIVED IN:24kg Vacuum box
FLAVOR:Peach, Grapefruit, Black Cherries
Coffees are picked in 3-4 passes. Meaning the producers/workers pick the more or the less ripe cherries in one block. Then they might wait a few weeks until they have reasonable amount of ripe cherries to pick. Generally, the first and last pass is lower quality, and the second and third will be considered as the best, with more ripe cherries and uniform quality. When they can, they try to buy parchment harvested in these two passes.
The coffee from Huila is generally fully washed, meaning pulped and fermented the traditional way. There are a few exceptions where farmers are using eco-pulpers with mechanical removal of mucilage, and/or are doing honeys, but it’s still not to common.
This is the most common and widely used method. The farmer will have a small beneficio, a small manual or electric pulper and a fermentation tank. They pulp the cherries in the afternoon. The coffees are going straight from the pulper into the fermentation tank. It can sit there from one to two days, depending on the temperature. Higher temperature will speed up the fermentation process, and lower temperature will slow it down. Some producers do intermediate rinsing with water, that can also help them control the process.
Washing and grading
They normally stir the coffees in tanks or small channels before they remove the floaters. For the ones without channels it’s common to wash the coffees in the fermentation tank and remove the floating ones before it goes to the drying.
For the smallholders in regions like Huila the coffees are commonly sun dried in parabolic dryers that almost works as green houses. The better producers have well ventilated facilities. There are many different variations and constructions, but generally they are all systems that can protect the coffee from rain. We have generally seen that the producers that have constructions with good ventilation and manage to dry the coffee down to below 11% in 10 – 18 days often have very good and consistent coffees. Drying in Huila is a big challenge due to rain and high humidity. During drying the producers hand sort the parchment coffee for impurities and defects.