Colombia El Tractor Lactic Natural Red Bourbon


Bean name Colombia El Tractor Lactic Natural Red Bourbon
Country Colombia
Region Medellín, Antioquia
Other info Grapefruit, peach, red cherry


At a whopping 2,300 meters above sea level, in the La Sierra area on the eastern edge of Medellín, sits the El Tractor Farm run by Don Gabriel Cortes. He’s achieved great results, particularly with his Red Bourbon, which recently won the "best coffee cupped in Medellín award (that’s some stiff competition!) and first came to our attention last year as one of the three farms contributing to the Lactic Fermentation lot we had from the Renacer mill.

Don Gabriel has been a farmer since he was a child in Vegachí, some 70 miles or so North East of Medellin. Unfortunately, a little over 16 years ago violence in the Vegachí region forced him to leave his life there behinds. He had to started a new chapter of his life and chose to do it in La Sierra and with El Tractor. Coffee growing requires long term commitment - when you plant trees, it’s going to take at least three years before you se the benefits - so it’s inspirational to see him forced to leave everything behind but still taking that risk again.

Don Gabriel has a super strict cherry selection process on his farm, which we think is reflected really well in the cup! Once the cherries are picked he brings them to the processing centre. After screening, only the ripe cherries are allowed into the fermentation process.??This particular lot is a super special one which showcases an experimental 76-hour fermentation process (his first attempt at it too!). This quick lactic fermentation allows for the growth of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) under anaerobic conditions.

Lactic fermentation in coffee processing can mean a lot of different things, but what they all do is create an Anaerobic environment for the coffee cherries (meaning keeping them somewhere without much Oxygen available). Normal fermentation in coffee cherries involves both Yeast and Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB), but yeast needs Oxygen to create new yeast cells, so an Anaerobic environment will encourage the LAB more than the yeast. In this Speedy Lactic process, the coffee cherries are kept warm, speeding up the process. The LAB creates Lactic Acid from sugars, and the PH level is measured to decide when the fermentation stage is complete. Often, at this point, the coffee would be washed or honey processed, but in this particular case, it’s dried and allowed to go through a Natural processing method.

Straight out of the gates I get yellow fruit - it's got grapefruit juice-like acidity but also some of the zest too. In comes bright, just about ripe apricot and then into soft and sweet peaches as the slick body mellows out that initial zip of acidity. That yellow fruit is balanced out on the finish as it's joined by red cherries.

Country: Colombia
Province: Antioquia
City: Medellín
Neighbourhood: La Sierra
Farmer: Don Gabriel Cortes
Farm: El Tractor
Altitude: 2,300 m.a.s.l.
Process: Natural
Fermentation: Lactic 76-hour
Varietals: Red Bourbon

Cupping notes

Clean cup None/8
Sweetness None/8
Acidity None/8
Mouthfeel None/8
Flavour None/8
Aftertaste None/8
Balance None/8
Overall None/8
Correction +None
Total None

« Back to Coffee Archive