Colombia - Monteblanco - Tropical Washed - Purple Caturra
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We Taste: Passionfruit, Guava, Melon
Farm: Finca Monteblanco
Producer: Rodrigo Sanchez Valencia
Process: Tropical Infused Washed
Variety: Purple Caturra
Rodrigo is proud that he, his wife Claudia Samboni, farm manager Don Gerardo, and the
team that works in the fields and at the mill have reached the goal of achieving consistent quality. Finca Monteblanco produces microlots with each harvest that serve as competition coffees around the world, but the farm also consistently produces containers of delicious coffees that appear year-round on café menus and retail shelves. By applying an ethic of rigorous monitoring, planning, and management at each stage of production and processing, all coffees from Monteblanco showcase their full potential. Harvesting and processing on Monteblanco have had to evolve with the times, adapting to a changing climate that yields harvest times dispersed through ten months of the year rather than in a concentrated peak. Coffees from Monteblanco are milled and prepared for export at the new, state-of-the-art Aromas del Sur drymill in Pitalito. This Tropical Infused Washed process begins with the creation of the fermentation culture that will be used. First, a mother culture was created containing microorganisms like lactobacillus and saccharomyces cerevisiae which were derived from Rodrigo’s Purple Caturra coffee cherries. 80 liters of this culture is separated to be fed with passion fruit, cholupa fruit, pineapple, mango, orange and a sweetener like panela or molasses. The fruit mixture contributes flavor to the culture, while the sweetener energizes the fermentation and brings the culture’s sugar content to a level that matches the degrees Brix of the coffee that will be processed. This initial fermentation of mother culture and fruit takes 190 hours to reach the appropriate degrees Brix and pH value for coffee processing. Before being processed with the fruit-fermented culture, coffee cherries are measured for sugar content as soon as they reach the mill at Monteblanco. Cherries are then floated to remove impurities before being pulped and deposited into a 200 liter sealed tank. The 80 liter culture that was previously fermented with the fruits is added to the sealed tank, and the pulped coffee is fermented for 150 hours. During this process, the team keeps measurements to ensure that the environment doesn’t fall below 6 degrees Brix, or below a pH of 4. The coffee is then moved to the drying area, where it is dried for 2–3 days in direct sunlight and then for 15–18 days under shaded canopies until it reaches 10–11% humidity.