||Colombia Finca La Chorrera Washed Pink Bourbon 2020
Near to the city of Pitalito, in the south of the Huila department of Colombia, you'll find Finca La Chorrera. It's owned and run by the Claros family: Pedro and Nelcy, and their six kids (Alberio, Edilson, Sandra, Hermes, Diana and Monica). We've been enjoying the fruits of their labour since 2013.
The farm is located in the valley of the Rio Grande de la Magdalena. The massive mountain range that straddles the valley is the birthplace of the Magdalena River, which travels north all the way to the Caribbean Sea. The local area is also known as 'The Valley of Laboyos' and is 180 KM away from Nieva, the capital of Huila. Pitalito is the second largest city of the department of Huila, at approximately 125,000 inhabitants, and is considered one of the largest areas of coffee production in Colombia.
La Chorrera sits at 1,735 metres above sea level and is eight hectares in size, six of which are planted with coffee. The other two hectares house the mill and inaccessible mountainous areas that are left out of cultivation. The family house, which is also used for drying, is at the bottom of the hill at around 1,400 metres above sea level.
The farm's drying patio at the family home is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen on my travels. It's a greenhouse built on top of the house so that the coffee can be turned regularly, but also to make sure no one steals it. The latter has not been so much of a problem in the last couple of years with market prices being low (take a gander on HasBlog to learn more: hasblog.co.uk/why-does-the-c-price-matter), but it was a real problem over the previous three years, which the family needed an ingenious solution to solve! Of course, Pedro doesn't have to worry about commodity market prices; he always gets a premium because he consistently gives quality, but black market coffee goes to the highest market bidder.
Chorrera is a farm we’ve had world exclusivity on for quite a few years now and where we work super intensively. Every lot which the farm processes (usually between 50 KG and 500 KG, depending on the time of year, etc) gets sent to us for cupping and they are paid a premium based on that cupping score. Higher scores mean more money for them!
On my very first trip to the farm I took some (in my always-humble opinion) amazing pictures, that you can have a nosey at HERE, and I took some more on my trip in 2014 – find them HERE!
Pink Bourbon is a name for a variation of the Bourbon coffee variety which rose to fame in Colombia a few years back. It’s rapidly become prized and gained a reputation for its complexity and high cup quality. Visually it’s pretty close to the standard red Bourbon fruit, but the cherries are lightly variegated between red and yellow, giving a coral-pinkish appearance when ripe (also sometimes called Striped Bourbon or Orange Bourbon). It requires extra skill and attention during harvest to accurately discern the perfectly ripe cherries.
We didn’t encourage Pedro to grow Pink Bourbon, but with the increased value from our purchases with him over the years – he’s growing bigger volume and getting better prices than ever – he’s had the freedom to try out new things. Bourbon is not particularly disease resistant, which is one of the reasons it’s not been popular in Colombia, so it’s a bit risky to invest in growing this and he’s done it on a small scale to minimise that risk.
Bright and crisp, this coffee is all about the vibrant acidity. Imagine mashing up sour cherries and fresh raspberries. There's a fruity sweetness to back it up, but that upfront zing is what it's all about. In the aftertaste it's cherry again, but more like a sweet black cherry.
Nearest town: Pitalito
Farm: Finca La Chorrera
Owners: Claros family
Altitude: 1,735 m.a.s.l.
Farm size: 8 hectares
Coffee growing area: 6 hectares
Varietal: Pink Bourbon
Clean cup: (1–8): 8
Sweetness: (1–8): 6
Acidity: (1–8): 8
Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6.5
Flavour: (1–8): 6.5
Aftertaste: (1–8): 6.5
Balance: (1–8): 6
Overall: (1–8): 6.5
Correction: (+36): +36
Total: (max. 100): 90
Medium – get it into the gap after first and let it slow down a little, but don't let it near second.
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