Region: Cauca, El Tambo Farm: Various Smallholder Varietal: Castillo + Colombia Altitude: 1850 -1900 m.a.s.l Processing: Washed
ASMUCAFE stands for Asociación de Mujeres Agropecuarias de Uribe, an organization of women farmers and landowners in El Tambo, a municipality within Cauca. The women’s mission as an association is to improve their family's quality of life through coffee farming and to contribute positively to their community by working together and sharing resources, knowledge, and support. “Our work is determined by our values such as responsibility, honesty, commitment, respect, solidarity, and competitiveness,” they say.
The coffee, all of which is of Castillo or Colombia variety, is picked as purple (Castillo) or bright red (Colombia) cherry and undergoes a somewhat unusual “double” fermentation process, as the women describe it: First, the cherries are left in the loading hoppers for 14 hours, then they are depulped in the afternoons and evening hours and placed into traditional open fermentation tanks for another 10 hours. Then they are washed three to four times before being dried in parabolic dryers or in the sun for 8–12 days.
ABOUT COLOMBIAN COFFEE
Everyone knows Colombian coffee or thinks they do. To simply say Colombian coffee is like recommending a book by saying the name of the publisher. To really get to know Colombian coffee is to travel thousands of miles to see the country. Then, taste hundreds of cups, and wear out dozens of pairs of hiking boots touring coffee farms as our importer does.
Coffee came to Colombia in the late 1700s. The first plantings were in the north of the country. Coffee plants spread throughout the 19th century, with a smaller than average farm size more commonly found in other Latin American countries. Colombia still produces Arabica coffee exclusively. Our offerings come from the southwestern departments of Cauca and Huila, which have higher altitude farms. This shines through in the more complex flavour and heightened chocolatey profiles.
Commercial production and export of coffee started in the first decade of the 1800s but remained somewhat limited until the 20th century. The establishment of the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia was a tremendous boost to the national coffee industry. Colombia quickly established itself as a significant coffee-growing region, vying with Brazil for the top global producer. The Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia is a prominent NGO that provides various services and support to the country's coffee producers. Regardless of the size of their landholdings or the volume of their production, the FNC helps out.
The FNC also guarantees a purchase price for any coffee grown within Colombia, providing financial security to farmers. This is designed to eliminate some of the market pressures and provide reliable income to the coffee sector. The scientific arm of the organization, Cenicafé, is devoted to research, development, dissemination, and support throughout the country. They provide A wide-ranging extension service employing more than 1,500 field workers. They are deployed to consult farmers on soil management, processing techniques, variety selection, disease prevention and treatment, and other agricultural aspects of coffee farming. A tax is imposed on all coffee exports to fund this work and the other provisions and protections that the FNC offers.
Since our earliest days, our importer has had boots on the ground and spoons in the cup there. We fall in love repeatedly with the regional variations, the varieties, the landscape, and the producers themselves. Our work sourcing strong, versatile workhorse coffees will keep you coming back for more.