Our second coffee from Jhoan Vergara and his farm La Flores and this one a natural Red Bourbon. La Flores was started by Jhoan's parents and in 2006 his mother entered a coffee for the prestigious Cup of Excellence, achieving 16th place. That was the motivation that lead to the focus on quality and the specialty market. Jhoan immersed himself in the SENA agronomical education program related to the theoretical and practical aspects of production. Initially La Flores only focused on Caturra but now they have a number of 'exotic' cultivars including Java, Pink Bourbon, Sidra, Tabi and Maracaturra as well as the traditional Caturra and Colombia trees.
As well as work on La Flores, Jhoan has a partnership with Nestor and Adrian Lasso on Finca El Diviso. We've had numerous coffees from Nestor and El Diviso over the last few years and when tasting this Java from El Flores it's easy to see the similarities in the post harvest processing techniques. La Flores is a family affair with Jhoan's siblings Carlos and Diego involved in various aspects of the farm.
It's labelled as a natural but you'll see from CATA's process breakdown below that this is way more complex than a traditional natural coffee:
- STEP 1. SELECTING THE CHERRIES MANUALLY.
- STEP 2. FERMENTATION IN 50KG PLASTIC BAG (ANAEROBIC PROCESS) FOR 40 HOURS, TEMPERATURE 16-18°.
- STEP 3. THE BAGS ARE OPENED AND COFFEE ARE LEFT OXIDATING FOR 20 HOURS.
- STEP 4. PLASTIC BAG ARE SEALED AGAIN TO LET THE COFFEE FERMENT (ANAEROBIC) FOR 12-18 HOURS.
- STEP 5. THE COFFEE BEANS ARE ASSED TO A TANK WITH HOT WATER (THERMAL SHOCK) AT A TEMPERATURE OF 32°.
- STEP 6. THE COFFEE MUST (JUICE OR MOSTO THAT NATURALLY COMES OUT OF THE CHERRIES WHEN FERMENTING AND OXIDISING) IS ADDED TO THE WATER.
- STEP 7. THE CHERRIES ARE PLACED IN MARQUESINAS TO START SOLAR DRYING FOR 16-25 DAYS. THE COFFEE IS MOVED 3-4 TIMES A DAY UNTIL IT REACHES 16% MOISTURE CONTENT.
- STEP 8. THE DRYING PROCESS IS INTERRUPTED AND THE CHERRIES ARE PLACED INTO PLASTIC BAGS IN A DARK ROOM FOR 48H.
- STEP 9. THE CHERRIES ARE PUT BACK IN THE MARQUESINAS TO FINISH DRYING UNTIL THEY REACH 11% MOISTURE CONTENT.
Here's Jhoan's message explaining the significance of the relationships with Cata and Nestor:
"We thank our parents for instilling in us a love for the countryside. especially to our mother who always believed that we could achieve great things that today we are reaping little by little, thanks to her advice. Our friends from Finca El Diviso who have contributed to professional growth and who we can say that together we will achieve great things in this world of coffee. CATA EXPORT for being our commercial ally, thank you for believing in us and for being part of our close friends. We hope to continue growing so that together we can bring excellent coffee to customers from different parts of the world.”