Alvaro Urbanos farm Tres Potrillos is located in the Vereda San Francisco close to Pitalito in Southern Huila. He’s growing a mix of Caturra and Castillo. This lot is fermented for about 28 hours and the coffee is dried in a parabolic dryer for 15 days. Alvaro is a member of the Cadefehuila Cooperative.
Origin: Southern Huila
Cadefihuila – Southern Huila
San Augustin and Pitalito is the main cities located in the south of Huila. It is surrounded with coffee areas of amazing potential. The coffees are from areas such as Acevedo, Pital, Bruselas, Palestina, Isnos and San Augustin. The altitudes for our coffees generally ranges from 1600 – 2000 masl. The farmers often works in groups, and are selling the coffee to the local bodegas (purchasing points for parchment)
This coffee comes from a small farmer that are a member of Cadefihuila Cooperative. We work alongside with exporters having coffee programs with the cooperatives targeting certain areas, groups or producers within the cooperative focusing on quality. As for all the coffee and projects we are doing in Colombia we are paying high premiums based on scores, above the daily coffee prices determined by the FNC. All our coffee have to meet our standards on moisture below 11% and scores above 86 points. We are there to cup at site many times a year, as well as we visit the producers and Cooperative to better manage the supply chain.
Cadefihuila is a Cooperative working in the north, south and western Huila. They were founded in 1963, and have thousands of producers with between 1-3 hectares of coffee. Many have great potential, but they need help and support to get the quality up to the level required buy us and our market.
Coffee is picked in 3-4 passes. Meaning the producers/workers pick the more or less ripe cherries in one block. Then they might wait a few weeks until it’s again a descent amount of ripe cherries to pick in that same place. Generally the first and last pass is of lower quality, and the second and third will be considered as the best, with more ripe cherries and uniform quality. When we can, we 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 is 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 coffee is going straight from the pulper in to 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 coffee 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 skim off the floaters before it goes to the drying.
For the smallholders in regions like Huila the coffee is 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 is able to 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 coffee. 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. By receiving premium payments, the producers can improve their facilities, by building new or reconstruct the dryers to increase ventilation and potentially add shade nets to slower drying, and hence improve the quality and longevity of the coffee.
Offered by Nordic Approach