Notes - Dried Apricot, Vanilla Bean, & Milk Chocolate
Flavor Scale - Very much Daring!
This Los Hermanos coffee is the product of a partnership between the Torres brothers in the La Union municipality of Nariño, Colombia. Juan Angel and Gabriel each own a farm, La Cafelina and La Indonesia, just outside of La Pradera town. The farms were part of the family inheritance, coming by way of their grandfather Marco Antonio Torres. The family’s history in coffee is long, with Marco Antonio being one of the first people to cultivate coffee in La Union more than 80 years ago. The middle Torres brother, Frank Rivas Torres, is a Q Grader who assists with quality control and advises on trends in the coffee market. These farms grow coffee alongside fruits and many different trees for shade, with an emphasis on preserving soil quality and responsible water management.
Finca La Cafelina is a 5 hectare property operated by Juan Angel. Coffee has been cultivated here for more than 30 years, originally growing mostly Caturra. Today, Juan Angel grows Caturra and Colombia varieties alongside citrus trees like orange, mandarin, lime, and lemon, and the crops enjoy shade from banana, guamo, leucaena, and yarumo trees.
Managing the quality of the environment is a priority, as well as having a scientific approach to the quality of the coffee crop. Juan Angel explains, “Fertilization is done four times a year, twice with fortified fertilizer and twice with organic compost and humus. The most important challenge is to preserve the layer of organic material in the soil, which is accomplished by slashing weeds between the coffee trees. For eight years we have been responsibly managing water for processing. The fermentation process is very important. The coffee cherry level of maturation is measured with the help of a brixometer, with the goal of determining the optimal point of harvest. This evaluation looks for the best concentration of sugars that each coffee variety can have.”
Brother Gabriel Torres’ farm, Finca La Indonesia, is around 8 hectares total with 60% of the cultivated land falling on a mountain slope 1750–1850 meters above the sea level. The farm has over 300 square meters of patios for drying coffee. Gabriel grows plantains, citrus, bananas, lulo, and corn alongside his coffee crop as well.
The brothers have planted several varieties together, including Pink Bourbon, Maragogype, Bourbon Sidra, Typica, and some 300 trees of Yirgacheffe variety. “Our challenge is to conserve and adapt foreign varieties of coffee that one day might be on the way to extinction in our area since the majority of the coffee producers prefer yields over quality and plant varieties like Castillo,” says Gabriel.
The Washed process for this lot begins with a 24 hour fermentation of the whole cherries in an environment that does not exceed 25° C. The cherries are then pulped, and the pulped coffee is fermented again for 25–30 hours. Once the pH reaches 4 and the sugar content reaches 9° Brix the coffee is then fully washed. The washed coffee was dried under partial shade for 25 days.