|General information||Variety: Colombia, Cattura|
|Processing: Fully washed|
|Cupping score: 87
Chocolate | Stone Fruit | Sitrus | Vanilla | Honey
The variety found in the cup profiles coming from Acevedo reflect its array of microclimates. Altitude ranges from 1200 to 1800 meters above sea level (masl) with many of the farms we buy from lying within the 1400 to 1800-meter range. Coffees produced at higher elevations are typically denser and are therefore appreciated more by specialty coffee professionals. An increase of elevation usually results in an increase in perceived acidity in the cup. This is potentially in part due to an increase in exposure to UV radiation, but mostly caused by the larger diurnal swings that happen at higher elevations. The cooler nights that occur at higher elevations lead to slower cherry maturation, which leads to sweeter, more complex cups.
Elsewhere in Colombia, altitudes of around 1400 masl can produce uninteresting, flat coffees. But Acevedo coffees are the exception to that rule. Whether they’re grown at the higher or lower part of the elevation range, they are incredibly sweet, complex and fruited cups. When you visit Acevedo, it is easy to understand why. Mornings and evenings are cool, even in Acevedo town which is only 1300 masl. Daily showers are extremely refreshing, or brutally cold, depending on your attitude, as hot water does not pour from taps in this part of Colombia. On many farms you can see literally watch the billowing, moist clouds roll in from the jungle to envelop the farms. This moist air makes drying the coffee difficult, so farmers use raised, covered beds, which adds to the fruited complexity of these beautiful lots.
Acevedo town is a basic commercial center with restaurants, bodegas, pharmacies and beauty salons. While not exactly exuding charm, it serves the farmers and their families living in the surrounding hills, plus the migrant agricultural workers. High-tempo music blares from competing loud speakers everywhere, from clothing shops to bars alike and the nightlife is raucous, if somewhat limited in variety. It’s a frontier town. Visitors from outside the region are rare, but welcome.
THE CCS ACEVEDO CUP
In 2018 CCS and our partners in the region, Fairfield Trading, ran the second annual CCS Acevedo Cup. Fairfield first screened hundreds of coffees to select the best offerings of the region. This year there were 37 samples, which were cupped over three days to determine the best twenty coffees. What does it mean to place in the Acevedo Cup? In addition to being recognised in the community, winning a place in the top 20 means a significant financial gain. Jair Caicedo, the first place winner, was paid 2,200,000 Colombian pesos per carga (125kg of parchment coffee) for his winning lot. To put that price in perspective, the FNC are currently offering around 800,000 pesos per carga. Once yield rates are taken into account, Jair will earn about three times the current purchase price.
This year’s top 20 coffees:
1. Jair Caicedo, Finca Buena Vista
2. Alberto Calderon, Finca La Esmeralda
3. Carlos Calderon, Finca El Porvenir
4. Carmelo Carmelo Blend: Oscar Ferney Cruz – Finca Jerico, William Arley Cruz – Finca Jerico, Jaimr Useche Gonzalez – Finca La Luna, Dionar Aleis Useche Gonzalez – Finca Los Alpes
5. Blend: Otoniel Cordoba – Finca El Jardin, Edilson Calderon – Finca El Tesoro, Manuel Calderon – Finca Mira Flores,
6. Jhon Wilson Poveda, Finca Danny
7. Jhon Wilson Poveda, Finca Danny
8. Maria Bercelia, Finca Los Angeles
9. Guillermo Rojas, Finca La Falda
10. Blend: Miller Norberto Bustos – Finca El Mirador, Jamir Usache – Finca La Luna, Diego Bernal – Finca Primavera, Alexander Granda – Finca El Rinconcito, Jose Ignacio Morales – Finca El Guadual
- Jhon Wilson Poveda, Finca Danny
- Maria Bercelia, Finca Los Angeles
13. Wilmer Cuellar, Finca Las Brisas
- Maria Bercelia, Finca Los Angeles
- Wilmer Cuellar, Finca Las Brisas
16. Mariano Leal, Finca Las Acacias
17. Luis Vargas, Finca Llanitos
18. Maria Bercelia, Finca Los Angeles
- Carlos Calderon, Finca El Porvenir
- Jair Caicedo, Finca Buena Vista
ABOUT THE EXPORTER: FAIRFIELD TRADING
Alejandro Renjifo, Fairfield’s founder and director, has a background one might not expect from someone bumping along the dirt roads in and around Acevedo. In his early career as a coffee economist, Alejandro held long stints at both the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (FNC). Alejandro was responsible for launching the FNC’s specialty division in North America. During a time when Colombian coffee was mainly characterized by Juan Valdez, a fictional character promoting “Mountain Grown” Colombian coffee, Alejandro was pushing for the FNC to recognize that Colombian coffee is not one thing, but many, and to promote the incredible diversity of Colombian terroir.
Alejandro has assembled a team in the region including Anna Beatriz Bahamon, Director of Quality Control and Sample Management, buyer Eduardo Urquina, and roaster Esnaider Ortega (who is also a coffee grower). What impresses us most about the Fairfield team is their finely honed palates, and the rock solid relationships they forge with each smallholder with whom they work. Finding the balance between these two elements of procuring specialty requires great skill.
Fairfield has three tests a coffee must pass to be purchased for their “Single Origin Program”:
1. Maximum green bean moisture content of 10% to 11%. The country average in Colombia is 12%.
2. A Yield Factor of <90. The country average in Colombia is 94+. 88 is an almost perfect YF.
Yield factor refers to the volume in kilograms of parchment required to produce one bag of Excelso commercial grade green coffee, screen size 14+, 1260. Fairfield exports screen size 15+, 3*020. A lower YF requirement ends in shipping an overall lower quality due to the blending of 14+ screen size and the maximum amount of low grade/defects, in order to reach the desired volume for each lot.
*The minimum Excelso Coffee that can be exported from Colombia is known as “UGQ”. This is a coffee lot that must contain 45%-50% of screen size 14 (with a maximum of 5% that falls between screen size 12-14) and 50% screen size 15.
The values “1260” and “320” (above) refer to the preparation basis of a 500g sample, which allows up to a maximum number of x*y defects of Type I and Type II (from SCAA protocol).
Fairfield’s preparation is 3*20 over screen size 15, which approximates the SCAA Specialty Grade, with the exception that they don’t include screen size 14 and SCAA does. The other difference from SCAA standards is that that Fairfield doesn’t promise “0” defects of Type I, as in their experience, this is an improbable promise to deliver on.
3. A minimum cup score of 86 points. Fairfield’s cuppers are very strict, in a typical year the team rejects 40% (+/- 5%) of coffees that meet criteria 1 and 2, but fail 3.
The only time an exception is made is when a client specifically requests slightly lower scoring coffees for regional blends. Even in these cases, the coffees are very good, as they meet the strictest parameters: 1 & 2.
Fairfield Trading and CCS have the same approach to coffee. We both make long term commitments and build ongoing relationships. The Fairfield Trading “Single Origin Program” is exactly the kind of project we choose to invest in.
The producers, the geography, the climate, our exporting partner and the team they have assembled there, all of these factors combine to make truly remarkable coffees.
ABOUT ACEVEDO, HUILA
Acevedo is a municipality located in the south-easternmost corner of the Huila department of Colombia, wedged in the fork between the central and eastern cordilleras (mountain ranges) where the Colombian Andes split into three distinct mountain ranges (the western, central and eastern cordilleras). Just beyond the central and eastern cordillera convergence is jungle and thus, moist, cool air. This cool air simulates increased elevation, and creates many different microclimates with diverse humidity, temperature and rainfalls, leading to varying and ideal coffee-growing conditions.