Name: El Recuerdo
Producer: Sergio Montoya
Origin: Gautica, Risaralda
Varietal: Castillo, Caturra
Altitude: 1780-1820 metres above sea level
Flavours: Lime, White Sugar & Chocolate
Cup Score: 85
Importer: Raw Material
Where is it from?
Colombia is the third-largest producer of coffee in the world after Brazil and Vietnam – though holds the crown for being the largest producer of washed Arabica. The coffee-producing areas lie among the foothills of the Andes and the Sierra Nevada, where the climate is temperate with adequate rainfall. Colombia has three secondary mountain ranges (cordilleras) that run towards the Andes and it is amongst these ranges that the majority of coffee is grown. The hilly terrain provides a wide variety of micro-climates, meaning that harvesting can take place throughout the year as coffee from different farms will ripen at varying times.
There are more than half a million growers spread throughout the key regions of Nariño, Cauca, Meta, Huila, Tolima, Quindio, Caldas, Risaralda, Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Cundinamarca, Guajira, Cesar, Madgalena, Boyacá, Santander and Norte de Santander. In a country as large as Colombia, with an established coffee industry that is spread over 17 regions, there is bound to be a variation in quality. However, it is widely accepted that some of the country’s best coffees come from the south-west in the departments of Huila, Tolima, Nariño and Cauca. Key varietals include caturra, bourbon, typica, castillo and maragogype.
Coffee’s importance to the Colombian economy brought about the development of The Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC) in 1927. This body is responsible for research, technical advisory services, quality control and marketing. Juan Valdez, a fictitious character created by the FNC, is the world-famous moustachioed, mule-riding and sombrero-wearing coffee farmer depicted on coffee sacks and logos. He has very much become the face of the Colombian coffee industry, especially outside of the country.
The Associacion La Cristalina de Guatica was born due to the proximity of the La Cristalina Municipal Natural Park. The town is situated in Guatica, a municipality in the department of Risaralda, Colombia, which is 93km north of the department’s capital, Pereira. The region sits within the mountainous cordillera Occidental, where the soil is fed by the Guatica, Opirama, and Oro Rivers. In 2007, the association was formed with 55 founders dedicated to the production of high-quality coffee. In 2008, the Support Productive Partnerships project was obtained.
The Association has 145 associates including Betania, El Carmelo, El Jordán, Milan, San Dimas, Sirguia Chiquito, Talaban. Today it has 145 active associates, of which 54 are part of a second phase of the project of productive alliances that seeks to continue with the improvement of the quality of life of the associates. The Association’s lots are typically made up of caturra, castillo, and variedad colombia, planted in volcanic soil.
Sergio Leandro Montoya lives with his wife and son on the Farm El Recuerdo located in the Municipality of Guatica, Risaralda. His farm is located in the area called El Diamante and it is located between 1,780 to 1,820 MASL.
The area of the farm is 2 hectares with an estimated production of 2,500 kg of parchment every year. The main harvest at the farm is from October to January and the fly crop between May to August every year, this has shifted a little bit due to climate change, however year by year the production has been quite stable. The varieties planted at the farm are Castillo, Rosario and Caturra. Sergio is a key member of the Associacion La Cristalina de Guatica and is part of the QC team. This team is in charge of evaluating all of the coffee delivered by the members into the buying point where the coffee is classified by physical and sensorial quality.
This skill and experience have pushed Sergio in the path of enhancing the quality of the coffee produced at his farm over the years with a simple clean process resulting in excellent quality. The general process in his farm is washed due to drying constraints as he does not have enough area to dry all of his coffee at once. His fermentation tanks are made of traditional mayolica tails and he uses a Jota Gallo pulping machine. The average time of fermentation is 18 to 24 hours. In his area, it takes around 15 to 20 days to sun dry the coffee.
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