||Colombia San Sebastian Colombian SC Decaffeinated Caturra Washed 2014
||South West Huila
We bought this coffee from the cupping table. Sometimes that means we don’t know much about the coffee itself.
San Sebastian is a Colombian specialty coffee produced by the small coffee growers and members of Occicafe, which is a coffee grower association based in the municipality of La Plata in southwest Huila.
The Asociacion de Productores de Café de Alta Calidad del Occidente del Huila (Occicafe) was founded in 2003. It's the result of the merging of several smaller coffee grower associations that existed in La Plata at the time. They realized that by working together and striving to produce high quality coffee they would have more benefits and economies of scale to compete and differentiate themselves in the market. Today the association has over 320 members from the municipalities of La Argentina, La Plata, Paicol, Nataga and Tesalia. Its members are small-scale coffee growers, whose farms range from 1 to 5 hectares and are at altitudes ranging between 1,400 and 1,900 m.a.s.l. All of them process their coffee in their small beneficios, and then dry it in covered patios until the coffee reaches the optimal moisture level.
Our exporter has a dedicated quality analyst working side-by-side with the growers. This means they are able to guarantee a consistent cup profile and a clean, sweet cup. The lot sizes of the growers are small (less than 2 bags on average), and so the analyst cups every single lot the farmers bring to the warehouse. Only the best lots, and those that fit the cup profile, are incorporated into San Sebastian coffee. It's generally composed of over 30 individual grower lots.
The name “San Sebastian” is a tribute to the original name that the Spanish gave to the town, which was “Villa de San Sebastian de La Plata.” The name “La Plata,” which translates to “silver” in English, comes from the fact that the Spanish found silver mines when they arrived at this region in the sixteenth century. La Plata was also a stopping point on the route from Santafe de Bogota to Quito during the Spanish colonization. Today La Plata’s economy is mostly agricultural, with cattle farming in the lower altitudes and coffee and fruits grown in the higher elevations.
Oh, by the way: this coffee is decaffeinated. I say this as a “by-the-way” as it’s the least important part of this coffee.
It was decaffeinated in Colombia. This might not sound remarkable, but most coffee is either decaffeinated in Canada or Germany. This adds food miles to the coffee, which is not good. What decaffeination in a coffee’s producing country does is add value at the place where I’m very happy to add value; that is, around 40 KM from the warehouse where the shipments are collated.
Take a look at the blog post here for more information on how the coffee is decaffeinated.
In the cup it's tough to tell this is a decaf – but that doesn't matter, because it's just very tasty. Expect milk chocolate with a creamy, smooth body; there's a hint of cherry acidity, and it's followed again by lovely, smooth, melted chocolate for a second time.
I’m going to say it again: delicious. A decaf that’s tasty and enjoyable, and even more so than its caffeinated counterpart.
Coffee: San Sebastian
Origin: Southwest Huila
Producers' coop: approximately 250 small coffee growers members of the Asociacion de Productores de Café de Alta Calidad del Occidente del Huila (OCCICAFE)
Altitude: 1,500-1,900 m.a.s.l.
Varieties: Caturra (80%), Colombia (20%)
Processing method: Washed in micro-mills at each farm
Drying method: sun-dried in greenhouses and on raised beds
Harvest: Main: April – July Fly-crop: November – January
Decaffeination: Descafecol plant in Colombia – uses ethyl acetate derived from a natural source – namely sugar cane
Packaging: jute bags with grain-pro liners to extend freshness, (70kg/154lb) each
If you hear the first pops of second crack it's time to stop. This is a medium so as not to kill the complexity.
"Quick Look" Guide
Milk Chocolate, smooth Balanced, creamy, cherry, milk chocolate aftertaste , great mouthfeel.
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