First Published - August 29, 2014
We’ve been (just about!) keeping quiet about something that we’re very excited about, and we think you will be too.
One of the brilliant things about dealing directly with farmers is hearing first hand about exceptional coffees, sometimes in very small amounts. That’s what we’re talking about here. Their genetic make-up yields low harvest volumes and means they typically are not attractive for commercial production. However the rare genetic varietals have exceptional cup quality, one of which is, in addition, low in caffeine.
As we have a limited amount of these coffees, we are operating a Priority Roast list invite.
We will be roasting orders for priority customers in the next fortnight.
To hear more about the Priority List and place advance orders for these coffees, you can sign up to our newsletter. Get on the list to ensure you don’t miss out!
They’re very rare and cup quality is very special. If you want sensory exposure to complex fruits and heady florals, you have to try them.
Steven tells us more about this unique farm, producer and coffee.
“Through our commitment to Union Direct Trade, and our desire to discover rare and delicious coffees we seek out superstar coffee producers whilst travelling in the Coffeelands. It is exciting to have encounters with people who have interesting approaches and a pioneering spirit with the courage to take chances on new exciting projects. Producers who think big in terms of quality and not just about quantity.
Camilo Merizalde who produces our coffee from Finca Santuario in Cauca, Colombia had an extraordinary vision to construct an innovative farm comprised of several smaller plots, each containing unique, exotic varietals with an astonishing cup profile.
A dream coffee farm
At Finca Inmaculada, Camilo has created his dream on a small, eight hectare piece of land. The farm, located at the heart of the Andes mountains in the Valle del Cauca, translates to Inmaculate Farm. And it is indeed perfect in every sense. Here, in 2011 Camilo began to cultivate a limited range of exotic coffee varietals.
These rare varietals were carefully chosen for their remarkable genetic material that produces exceptional cup quality, but are not normally cultivated commercially because of their low volume of production. The location of the farm contributes to the quality of the coffee, because extreme cool night temperatures slow maturation of coffee plants.
These trees are delicate and require extremely sensitive cultivation techniques to encourage propagation. To ensure they flourish the plants are cultivated under greenhouse conditions to ensure they thrive. This work is very labour intensive and hence cost of production is high. But preserving this important genetic material that expresses such a delicious cup profile requires genuine devotion.
The C. arabica accession Rume Sudan RS-510 was originally identified on the Boma Plateau, Rume Valley, south east Sudan. Seed gathered for botanical research by CENICAFE Research Institute was given to to Camilo Merezaldes in 2001, to help deliver his vision of cultivating these rare varietals. In July 2011, the first seedlings were planted on Inmaculada farm, in Cali, Colombia. Rume Sudan is a wild hybrid from the Bourbon varietal and resembles a mix of tropical fruit with an aroma of wild flowers in its taste. It is highly respected for expressing excellent flavour attributes, but its low productivity mean it’s not considered for producing a commercially viable crop.
The Bourbon Pointu tree is a dwarf-type with characteristic triangular shape of a typical Christmas tree, small at the top and broadening out at the base. In 2001 this varietal was planted at the Santuario coffee garden with seeds received from CENICAFE Research Institution. When sufficient seeds reproduced and cup quality was evaluated as excellent, Camilo Merizalde planted Bourbon Pointu in Inmaculada farm in 2011.
The variety comes from a tiny island called Réunion, east of Madagascar and Southwest of Mauritius, where a Red Bourbon variety mutated to the variety we know today as Bourbon Pointu.”
If you’re interested in the science and stats behind these beans, it’s interesting to note that the composition of Laurina is very different from C. Arabica or C. Robusta; in particular it’s noted for its low caffeine.
We are thrilled to have Bourbon Pointu and Rume Sudan, as well as the delicious Red Bourbon from Finca Santuario.