Pink Bourbon by Ildefonso Córdoba from Huila, Colombia
Producer: Ildefonso Córdoba
Where: Bruselas, Huila, Colombia
Variety: Pink Bourbon
Processing: Anaerobic Washed (60-70hrs. in cherry/48hrs. depulped)
Importer: Shared Source
Harvest: January 2023
Tasting notes: pink jam, guava, watermelon & orange
With tropical fruit character and sweet cotton candy like finish, this Pink Bourbon variety was grown and processed by Ildefonso Córdoba on his family farm in Bruselas, Huila, Colombia. Once the ripe coffee fruit has been picked, it is fermented as whole cherry in sealed bags for 60-70 hours, then depulped and fermented underwater for 48hrs.
Incredibly stoked to release this 2023 harvest of Pink Bourbon from Ildefonso Cordoba from Bruselas in Huila, Colombia. Part of the magically talented Guacharos producer group (those of you who had the Guacharos producer blend we had last month can attest!) who often congregate in nearby Pitalito, Ildefonso is a linchpin of sorts. Acting as the resident seed guy, he’s constantly sharing his knowledge about different cultivars and sharing seed stock with the neighbourhood and other Guacharos members.
This delight of a Pink Bourbon is courtesy of our sweet friends at Shared Source, who’ve been buying from the Guacharos group for the past seven years (and no doubt beyond). They’ve built up such a good rapport with these folks that it’s a no-brainer to work with them for treats like this one.
Shared Source says this of Ildefonso:
“He’s also known as the clown of the Los Guácharos group – he’s funny, sweet, and, as an active, involved member, he lifts the spirit of the group significantly. Though he comes from a coffee-producing family, he started his farm from scratch, and has managed to bring it to the point where it’s producing great quality coffee 12 years into his endeavour.”
Just as the sungold cherry tomatoes Nate and I are vining in front of our apartment window in East Vancouver are a golden hue when ripe, coffee, delightfully, shares in these idiosyncrasies. Some varieties ripen to a sunny orange, others a blush pink in addition to the Pinot or dark cherry standard.
Pink Bourbon ripens to a kind of rose quartz/ coral, and it’s become a downright obsession in Central and South Huila, where Ildefonso is piling on the pandemonium. His interest is justified – Between the ease of growing, the relative heartiness compared with other strains, and the flavour, Pink Bourbon has a good ROI (for those lucky to be in the right climate to grow it).
This seemingly spontaneous mutation of Bourbon originated in Colombia, potentially Palestina, where the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation ran an experimental farm in the 1950s and 60’s planted with 500 varieties. It’s suspected that this is where Pink Bourbon first turned up (though ultimately its origin story is unclear), and has been turning up randomly in other farms in the area over the years.
Pink Bourbon has only grown in popularity with farmers and buyers alike ever since. I’d say though, that in addition to the tastiness of the variety itself, the major factor of why it tastes the way it does comes down to how the resulting lots are fermented.
Ildefonso prepared this lot in the same way as most other washed lots in the region: It’s been fermented in cherry in sealed bags for 60-70 hours, then depulped and fermented under water for 48 hours before drying the resulting parchment on raised beds in a slow and steady way. That in-cherry fermentation step allows for a low oxygen environment, lending a lot of those tropical and often banana-like flavours ever present in Pink Bourbon.
We brew all our coffees with municipal water that flows from our taps in Metro Vancouver. This municipal source is very soft, low ppm water (around 30 TDS)
There are many alternative water recipes out there that will produce tasty cups if your water from the tap isn’t giving you good results. A good place to start is 1/2 strength Third Wave Water of around 60-70ppm (0.16g.-0.2g./L of TWW powder). Another great choice is the Light and Bright recipe from Lotus Water if you use that.
We make an effort to taste our coffees in a variety of ways, but mostly use cupping, V60, and Kalita 155 brews as our main ways of quality control and dialling in roast profiles. Our filter recipes can be found in our Journal here:
Roasted with filter coffee in mind, expect shots that are lighter in body and brighter in acidity than your typical espresso profile.