Colombia Mercedes Palta
This is the 1st Colombian coffee for 2017, the first of a series of delicious Colombian coffees to be rolled out over the next few months. As we came to the end of Four Chairs, we are coming up with a wider selection of single origins for customers to try. This coffee will be one of the 4 coffees that we are featuring as single origin (SO) espresso.
Mercedes Palta de Mosquera is a producer from a village called Melcho, in the municipal of Piendamo in the Cauca department of Colombia. She lives at the farm with her husband, Sergio Mosquera Paz and their youngest son, Duban Fernando Mosquera Palta, who is currently studying agronomy in the local university. Mercedes's husband has been growing coffee for a long time, and Mercedes helped him by cooking for the workers in the farm. It was only about 16 years ago that she wanted to grow coffee too that her husband gave her a small lot of land to try. The results from the subsequent harvests were very good and that encouraged her on. Since then, she had been doing well and managed to secure more land to focus on growing specialty coffee. She knows that she has to maintain proper cleanliness in the equipment used in the wet mill. She has also adopted a longer drying process with plenty of airflow to enhance the green coffee quality.
We had the opportunity to cup this coffee when we visited our partners at Banexport last year. This was presented to us together with a few other micro-lots from the Cauca region. Mercedes only has a farm area of 1.5 hectares of which only 1 hectare is used for growing coffee (about 5000 trees). The average altitude is about 1620 masl. She grows Castillo and F6 varietals in her farm and uses the traditional washed process for her coffees. The cherries, after depulping, undergo dry fermentation for 14 hours and are washed 3 times. She uses the parabolic dryer and some mechanical drying. Depending on the weather, the drying usually takes about 10 days.
Mercedes was advised by Banexport the importance of only picking ripe cherries, especially for Castillo varietal, with the optimum ripeness being purple cherries, instead of red. This has helped to enhance the sweetness greatly while avoiding much of the astringency that is typically mentioned for Castillos.
This coffee caught our attention when we cupped it at the coffee lab at Banexport for its berries-like acidity coupled with a sweetness that increases as the cup cools. We feel this coffee offers the balanced acidity and rounded mouthfeel which most will enjoy in an everyday espresso. Its chocolate finish is also a satisfying end to a cup of joe.
Farm: Finca El Ensueño
Producer: Mercedes Palta
Region: Piendamo, Cauca, Colombia
Altitude: 1620 masl
Processing: Fully washed
Available in store or from our webstore.