Name: La Ricuarte
Producer: Velez Family
Origin: Ciudad Bolivar, Antioquia
Varietal: Colombia, Caturra, Castillo
Altitude: 1700-2000 metres above sea level
Process: Washed (RFA)
Flavours: Red Toffee Apple, Mandarin & Milk Chocolate
Cup Score: 84.5
Harvest: October-December (Arrived Uk: 19/04/2020)
Importer: Falcon Coffees
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.
Antioquia situated in the northwest of Colombia's coffee lands is the largest department in Colombia with an estimated 95,000 coffee growers. Most of these are smallholders with 2- 5 ha of land but there are also larger family farms in the department that have been part of families for generations. Only recently has speciality coffee been associated with this department as there have been significant quality improvements over the past number of years. The climate and dramatic valleys make this a very challenging environment to produce speciality coffee. Here traditionally there are two harvests with the main harvest occurring between Oct-Jan and then the fly crop taking place from March to May.
Finca La Ricuarte is a 150 ha farm with 50ha given to the natural forest and environment. This farm belongs to the Velez family who has owned the farm for generations. The main variety on the farm is Caturra with some Colombia and Castillo as well on the land. The farm is also certified RFA as it is important to the family to be responsible for the care environment as well as for the people they employ.
The coffee once harvested is then separated and pulped and then fermented overnight in water for 12-16 hours. After this, the coffee is then washed and floated before then being dried on patios or in a mechanical drier at 40 degrees if the weather is too wet.
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