This coffee is from smallholder producers in the Tasnaque township of the municipality of Yacuanquer, Nariño. We refer to it as Nano lots due to the small quantities brought together from each of the farms’ microlots. It contains Caturra (60%) and Castillo (40%), harvested between June and July 2016 at an altitude ranging from 1,700 to 2,200 meters. On average, it was fermented for 16 to 20 hours and dried on patios or raised beds for approximately 12 to 16 days.
Yacuanquer stands for “land of the tomb and sepulcher” in Quechua (the language of the Inca empire). This region is particularly adept at producing consistently good coffees because of its altitude and relatively extreme differences between daytime and evening temperatures. The fact that the majority of the farms are almost all under five hectares allows their owners to control the picking and processing easily. As the afternoons are frequently wet compared with the bright, sunlit mornings, many of the farmers have adapted with raised, covered plastic drying beds, whereas cement patios are typically the norm in Nariño. The soil is also particularly rocky and rich in minerals. It’s also soil that is relatively new to coffee, as crops such as corn and beans were the norm up until the last few years.
Yacuanquer has a total land area of 111 square kilometers. The municipality’s main town (also called Yacuanquer) is located 2,670 meters above sea level, which means you have to drive down in elevation to find coffee, whereas most Colombian towns sit at the base of the coffee-producing mountains. 65% of its topography is mountainous and only 10% is flat. Due to the proximity of the town to the crater of the Galeras volcano, it has been listed as a high-risk area. Depending on the altitude, Yacuanquer’s temperature usually varies from 13 to 23 Celsius.
This coffee’s consistently great quality convinced us. It has very similar characteristics of good Kenyan coffees with currant-like notes, complex berry qualities and bright orange acidity. A good body, chocolate notes and a chocolate finish round up the cup profile and lead to 87.75 SCAA points.
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