Colombia, Amparo Manchabajoy
Castillo is both hybrid, and a necessity as our planet warms and changes. The masterful way Amparo cultivates her Castillo coffee plants is evident in the flavour of her coffee. When we tasted how sweet, bright and crushable a well grown example of Castillo can be under her watch, we had to buy this lot!
We feel lucky. Having the opportunity to work with not one, but two coffees from Yacuanquer this season has been a dream come true so early in our tiny yet mighty company. If that wasn’t exciting enough, these two coffees are excellent expressions of their respective cultivars, located among our top places on the planet for complex, delightful coffees.
We got this small lot from Amparo Manchabajoy, with the help of our friends at Olam, and Azahar: Who are doing incredible things for transparency in specialty coffee in Colombia.
La Florida is a small village tucked into the foothills of the Galeras volcano, very close to the Ecuadorian border. The economy here was traditionally made up of subsistence-style monoculture, and cash crops - usually wheat.
Around forty years ago, five new crops were introduced to the area. Eucalyptus, agave, sugar cane, pineapple and of course coffee have gone on to become some of La Florida’s most-widely grown agricultural products.
Amparo grows the Castillo cultivar on her farm meant for this area of the country (there are dozens of strains now) in the neighbourhood of El Chapal. Located at 1,950 m.a.s.l, her farm exists in one of the most exciting climatic conditions for growing complex coffees.
After carefully harvesting and hand selecting the ripest cherries, she processes each outturn separately. First the coffee fruit is de-pulped with a hand crank depulper. It’s then washed and then the coffee sits in a small tank without water, allowing the natural yeasts from the area to eat up the mucilage for 18 hours. The coffee gets washed again, and is then dried for 15 days depending on that the weather is like. This lot for Lüna was harvested in November.
The flavour of this coffee is bright and crushable, especially as we move into warmer summer mornings. It opens up with sweet lemon, and black tea, realizing the potential of a well grown and processed washed Castillo. Its vibrant and dreamy, with soft hints of refreshing botanicals…. Lemon-tea Daydream!