March/April Reserve: Huila, Colombia

Finca El Carmen

This is a Colombia Excelso EP from Finca El Carmen in the Sur Oriente de Garzón municipality of Huila. Our El Carmen Colombia is available now through April.

About the region

Huila has been producing some of the best quality coffee in Colombia for over a decade.

It is a high altitude region in Colombia’s southwest — an isolated, “seismically active” valley in the Andes Mountains, rich with micro-climates and biodiversity — with two coffee harvest periods per year. For these reasons, although most coffee grown in Huila consists of Caturra and Castillo varietals, Huilan coffees offer a range of flavor profiles.

The Sur Oriente de Garzón municipality in Huila is part of the larger agricultural region, mainly farmed by small landowners. Coffee farms in the area each typically produce 15,000–30,000 pounds of exportable coffee each year.

The coffee growers in Huila are a vital part of their communities; farming is a way of life in Huila. Farmers provide jobs and other resources if they have larger holdings, and all farmers support local food sovereignty and regional identity, regardless of whether their holdings are large or small.

Recently, larger farmers and peasant-farmers in Huila have been working together to protect the area from development they see as dangerous to their environment and livelihoods. A future post will tell you more about this issue. If it’s important to our growers, it’s important to us.

                                                                        Finca El Carmen

                                                                        Finca El Carmen

About the coffee

Our El Carmen Colombia is produced near the town of Paloquemao. The primary producer of this coffee is Jamir Quitian.

(Paloquemao is located not far from the Magdelena River and just a few mountainous miles off the Pitalito-Isnos-Paletará Highway 20, in case you’d like to make the trip. Pictures of the highway and the farm are on the right. )

Like most Huilan coffees, coffee from Finca El Carmen is somewhat atypical for Colombia. Rather than sweet caramel and nuts, the tasting notes favor malt, chocolate, almonds and citrus fruits. Grown at an average elevation of 1500 meters, this a high-to-very high altitude, strictly hard bean coffee. It is excellent.

Available for a limited time. Order online today.

El Carmen Colombia
Colombia Light Roast
$16.00/12oz

Available March–April 2016.

Region: Huila, Colombia
Altitude: 1480–1520 meters/~4,900 feet
Estate:  Finca El Carmen
Process: Fully washed
Notes: malt, chocolate, almonds, citrus fruits