Boozy strawberry and blackcurrant
Home to 20 members of the Red Association Villamaria, La Batea is a sub-region of the area of the same name, located twenty minutes by car from the buying station Finca La Aurora.
The topography of Villamaria is challenging to put it mildly, as it is comprised of steep hills and valleys that have been affected by volcanic activity in the not so distant past. This area of Caldas is afforded a unique scenario, with several microclimates sitting side by side across this region.
La Batea means the valley in English and is an area of Villamaria where its incredibly steep hills provide a unique microclimate. Here, cold air currents swoop down from the snowy mountains of Santa Isabel and Volcan Nevado del Ruiz, improving air quality, circulation, and pollination, whilst cooling the air temperature that surrounds the growing cherries!
This has all those boozy and sweet characters we love from a funky natural. Well some of us do ;-)
Villamaría's processing station, Jamaica, was chosen due to its perfect climate and altitude for the drying of naturally processed coffee. Alongside this, the large space available meant that producing high-quality naturals at scale was a possibility not available before.
As the project gained speed, roasters worldwide began to buy long-term from Villamaría, and neighbouring communities were able to see the merits of selling cherry to La Aurora instead of parchment to a nearby trilladora. The sale of whole cherry to a processing station is a method uncommon in Colombia but seen in many other coffee-producing countries. We can see that the communities including Villarazo La Batea Corozal have been positively affected by the existence of Jamaica. Today, we see a continued increase of producers delivering their cherry to La Aurora, the buying point and farm managed by Rubiel Orrego.
Villamaría is a Colombian municipality located in the department of Caldas. The region is fed by numerous sources of water and natural resources. Villamaría is located a few kilometres from the city of Manizales, whose urban areas are surrounded by the Chinchiná River. Our drying station "Jamaica" is located in Chinchiná, Caldas. The station currently represents the harvests of 30 to 50 coffee producing families in the surrounding area of Villarazo, sitting at altitudes higher than the drying station itself. As Jamaica sits at a lower altitude of 1300 MASL, it is better suited to the processing of honey and natural coffees due to the hotter temperatures found here.