This is our second year offering this washed regional coffee Tablon de Gomez produced by 20 smallholders from this small municiplality in Narino, a region known for it’s high quality microlots.
The importer, Cofinet, has a ‘Regional Plus’ desingation for these selections from smallholders that score 85+ and typically they offer balanced and consistent coffees that have a rounded body and high levels of sweetness.
Narino is located in south of Colombia on the border with Ecuador. The region has a history of FARC activity which has caused considerable instability effecting coffee production. However the region is home to some exceptional coffees and Cofinet continue to explore the region due to its potential.
This coffee comes from the small (mostly indigenous) producers who have farms in the remote Tablón de Gomez, who are members of Alianza Café. They have small farms at 1,800 – 2,200m above sea level, that are typically less than 2 hectares each. Every family does their own harvesting – usually with the help of neighbours, and manage their own self-sufficient wet-mills and patios (open or covered) for drying. After the perfectly ripe cherries are picked, they are pulped by passing them through a manual pulper at the family farm (usually located close to the main house). The waste from this process will be used later as a natural fertiliser for the coffee trees. Depending on the conditions, fermentation can range between 12 up to 48 hours. Some producers will add several layers of wet parchment over the course of a few days, which is thought to add complexity to the fermentation process and final cup profile. Luckily, Nariño is blessed with some of the best drying conditions in the country due to the micro-climate and high altitude of the region, providing lower relative humidity, more wind and more sunny days than other areas of the country.
Nariño typically has a wet season with periods of continuous rain, followed by a dry season, which means that there is only one flowering period a year and therefore one harvest, usually in April to July (this is different to other parts of Colombia where two harvests are the norm). This means that producers must have other sources of income, which typically include harvesting and selling plantains, fique (a fiber used to make rope) and cuy (guinea pigs).