A fully washed Specialty Colombian Asorganica from Cauca sourced directly from Caravela.
Caravela (formerly known as Virmax) has been working directly with coffee producers since 2004. They have concentrated on producers that are interested in driving up quality by continually improving the farming, harvesting and production techniques.
Quaffee was fortunate enough to sample the Caravela’s first Organic coffee, released in 2007. It was called Asorganica. This name has stuck even though now this coffee is produced by 128 small coffee growers from the municipalities of El Tambo and Timbio, in the southern department of Cauca, Colombia.
Most farmers have about 1 hector of coffee, and the 128 producers are members of the following three coffee grower associations:
- Asociación de Productores Orgánicos del Cauca (ASORGANICA);
- Corporación para el Desarrollo de la Sericultura del Cauca (CORSEDA); and
- Asociación de Mujeres Caucanas (AMACA).
Since 2004 there has been a continuous improvement in the quality of their coffee so that they can access the high-quality coffee market.
Typically in a crop year, there are 94.6 tons of certified organic parchment coffee in 345 hectares, with an average yield of roughly 245 kg per hectare. This is a very low yield, as the national average yield is of approximately 700 kg of parchment coffee per hectare. Of the 128 producers, 53 are women (or roughly 41%).
It is important to highlight that next year another 75 coffee growers from those three organisations will receive the organic certification, thereby increasing the amount of organic certified coffee available.
The coffee is USDA NOP certified by Mayacert and certified under Colombian organic regulations by Biotropico.
Colombian Asorganica from Cauca
|Region:||Smallholdings around Popayán, Cauca, Colombia.|
|Farmers:||Approximately 80 are certified, on the top of the harvest selected.|
|Cultivar:||Arabica Caturra, Castillo.|
|Altitude:||1,500 – 2,000 meters above sea level.|
|Harvest:||April – July (major); Sep – Nov (fly)|
|Process:||De-pulped and washed at each farm. Fermentation typically 36 hours, depending on weather and farm.|
|Drying:||A mixture of raised screens and parabolic driers.|
|Quality control:||Each farmers lot is size and defect graded. Should the parchment have an SCAA approved number of size and defects, it is then roasted and tasted. All coffees scoring more than 83% at the Popayán Caravela office are then selected and sent to Caravela’s Bogotá office, where the lots are sorted by taste. This lot is an AA lot which means it scores 85-86.5 to the standard CQI.|
|Characteristics:||Notes of cherry and caramel and a hint of savouriness supporting classic earthy notes.|
|Roast used:||Moderate charge with intense heat to start to increase the Ramp Rate. Thereafter, heat is reduced to slow the ramp rate (to increase heat absorption before yellowing and assist is increasing solubility – we believe). At yellowing, it is increased into browning. Here heat is maximised into first crack, where it is eased of to lengthen the roast through first crack. Coffee is dropped around 90 seconds after first crack starts.|
|Cupping score||85-86.5 (seasonal variances, this is the min and max)|
|Logistics||Cost ZAR21.54 / kg. Coffee was included in a consolidated seasonal order of Colombian coffees.|
|Producer/Organisation||Caravela / ASORGANICA|
|Typical lot size bought||8 x 35kg boxes, twice a year|
|Relationship||Our relationship with Caravela goes back to 2008.|