Small Producers of Urrao - Antioquia, Colombia - Filter Roast
This variant is currently sold out
ALTITUDE 1,900 - 2,100m above sea level
PROCESSING Extended Fermention
AVERAGE FARM SIZE 1.5 hectare
This coffee was grown and processed by twelve smallholder producers that are situated around the town and municipality of Urrao, located in the high mountains of Western Antioquia, Colombia. The producers are Alexandar Zapata Jr., Alexandar Zapata, Arsenio Moreno, Eduardo Vargas, Gustavo Hernandez, Jairo Zapata, Luis Alvaro, Juan Moreno, Dionisio Vargas, Yessica Moreno and Luis Montoya.
Urrao is a unique and special coffee growing region, located in the valley of Rio Penderisco, at around 1,900m above sea level. Unlike other producing regions in Colombia, which are characterised by deep canyons and massive, rugged mountains, Urrao is covered in rolling green hills, calm pastures and beautiful rivers that snake through the landscape. This geography guarantees cool temperatures year-round, typically only reaching between 12-25 degrees. This cool climate is ideal for the slow ripening of coffee cherries, leading to denser beans and a sweeter, more complex cup profile.
Until recently Urrao was overlooked as a coffee-producing region and dismissed by many as being too cold for good production. There is still very little coffee produced in the area, despite it being some of the most fertile land in Antioquia. Many farmers complement the income they make from coffee by growing Lulu, a type of passionfruit that tastes similar to a kiwi fruit and is incredibly popular in Colombia. Coffee grown in Urrao is slowly becoming recognised and sought after for its high quality and complexity.
Farms in Urrao are very small – averaging just 1.5 hectares – and are traditionally farmed. Fertilisation occurs around three times a year, usually after manual weeding, and pesticides are rarely used. The coffee is selectively hand-harvested, with most labour being provided by the farmers and their families.
HOW THIS COFFEE WAS PROCESSED
The coffees in this lot were selectively hand-harvested, with most labour being provided by the farmers and their families. They were processed with an extended fermentation, as part of the washing method, at each farm’s ‘micro-beneficio’ (mill).
The coffee was pulped using a small manual or electric pulper and then placed into a fermentation tank. Because of the cooler climate in Urrao, producers tend to ferment the coffees for longer than usual and will often blend several days’ worth of pickings over a 3-5 day period. Every day, freshly picked cherry is pulped and added to the mix, which lowers the pH level and – along with the cooler temperatures – allows for an extended fermentation process. This fermentation process contributes to a vibrant, winey acidity in the coffee’s cup profile.
Following fermentation, the coffee was washed using clean water from the Rio Penderisco and then carefully sun-dried over 10–18 days. Most farmers use the “Casa Elba” system for drying, where parchment is laid out to dry on rooftop patios (usually on top of the farmhouse). A retractable roof on a pulley system can be pulled over the coffee to protect it during rainy weather or to slow down the drying process when it is very hot and sunny. Rakes are used to turn the coffee regularly during the drying stage, to ensure even drying.
Once dry, the coffee was delivered to Pergamino’s warehouse, where it was cupped and graded, and then rested in parchment until it was ready for export.