A wide range of concept coffees, microlots, & traceable blends.

Ever since we started sourcing from Colombia in 2014, we have focused on building relationships and integrating quality control into our buying. We have created a series of distinct and traceable coffees, which we call "concepts", focusing on both microlots and value-added communal lots. With direct presence at origin, we partner with producer groups, cooperatives, and specialty-focused exporters in Huila, Tolima, Nariño, and Antioquia through buying programs that prioritise consistent, high-quality coffee.

Harvesting season

Antioquia main harvest: Oct - Jan, Central Huila: Jun - Nov, Southern Huila: Sept - Jan, Nariño: May - Sep

Arrival times

December – February & September - November

Quantities

3 – 100 bag lots. Average lot size is around 10 bags.

Packaging

24 – 30 kg vacuum boxes & 70 kg grain pro bags

Cultivars

Mostly Caturra, Castillo, & Variedad Colombia, but also Tabi, Bourbon, & Typica.

Processes

Mainly washed, but we work with producers to produce some naturals & honeys.

Flavour profiles

Generally very complex, rich and fruit-driven with florals, berries, mature plum, grapes, blackberry, currants, stone fruit and citrus.

Usage

Can be used for everything from complex filter brews to rich, sweet and creamy espressos.

Shelf life

Normally holds up well for around 9 months. We can never guarantee more than 6 months after arrival for any coffees.

Sourcing

To ensure distinct and traceable coffees, we work with producer groups, cooperatives, and specialty-focused exporters in ongoing buying programs that concentrate on consistent, high-quality coffee. Farmers selected for our programs often deliver very small volumes at a time. The coffees that meet the target moisture levels, yield factor, and quality are kept separate and cupped individually. If we and the local cuppers score the coffees at a higher level, they are approved for purchase.

Colombia's diverse micro-climates and soil conditions are ideal for producing exceptional coffee, but most farmers have insufficient resources and limited access to the specialty market. The National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC) has a purchase guarantee program with buying stations set up all over the country. Farmers can sell their coffee to the FNC any day of the year, for a price that is widely published. This is a great safety net for farmers, but it can also lead to exceptional coffees disappearing into larger regional blends.

We source from Huila, Tolima, and Nariño, as well as Antioquia, through a partnership with pioneer Juan Saldarriaga. We don't just select the top scoring coffees; rather, we build relationships with our partners for ongoing support and development.

Our approach is to develop relationships and integrate quality programs into our buying, creating "projects" or "concepts" that focus on microlots and larger blends. Our concept coffees fall under names like Recolectores, Fruta Madura, Madremonte, El Divino Niño, and Bomba de Fruta. You’ll also find plenty of coffees produced by Juan Saldarriaga, the driving force behind our Antioquia selection.

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Harvest & Post-Harvest

A step-by-step overview

Quality

We believe in uncovering potential where others might not typically look. Amazing coffee isn't limited to Geishas and rare varieties; it's about diving deep into the supply chain and working with farmers who show potential for independent growth.

We collaborate with suppliers that operate their own bodegas, purchasing parchment from farmers in our programs. Our selected farmers often deliver small volumes, and coffees meeting target moisture levels, yield factor, and quality are separated and individually cupped. If approved by local cuppers and us, they move forward for purchase.

We implement strict physical quality control measures, particularly because Colombian coffee is prone to ageing quickly. We enforce strict standards for water activity and moisture content to ensure extended shelf life. Our moisture levels stay below 11.5, lower than the industry average of 12.5. Additionally, our partners are expected to expedite shipping after finalising purchases, ensuring all our coffees reach their destination swiftly.

Caturra is generally recognized for its favourable flavour attributes when the farmers adhere to correct production practices. However, we've discovered exceptional cups with Colombia and Castillo varieties too. When well-treated by the producer and picked at peak ripeness, these varieties lose common herbal and astringent flavours, becoming more sweet and complex. Most farmers maintain a mix of 1-3 cultivars to ensure diversity and minimise the risk of disease and infestation.

Transparency

We collaborate with reliable partners, including producer groups, cooperatives, and exporters with a specialty focus, to create ongoing buying programs. This ensures that our coffees maintain their distinctiveness and traceability back to the producer or producer group.

In Colombia, farmgate prices signify the amount paid for 125 kg of parchment. Our trusted suppliers consistently provide us with the farmgate prices paid to the producers, so that we can ensure we will provide premiums that exceed the actual production costs. We maintain competitive pricing for the farmers in this origin by purchasing coffees for prices well above the market average.

Payment structures vary depending on the supplier. In some cases, the premium paid to farmers is integrated into the FOB payments made to suppliers. Alternatively, in some cooperatives, the initial payment is provided to farmers by the cooperative. Following our coffee contracts, farmers receive an additional payment for the sale.

Impact

Given that many Colombian producers are smallholders, we focus on both microlots and larger blends. The larger blends are designed to offer smaller volume producers entry into the specialty market by creating substantial lots that match in profile or region.

While quality is a focus, our primary emphasis is on building relationships. Our philosophy centres around establishing direct connections with farmers, made possible through having a buyer at origin (we have an office and cupping lab in Bogota).

Through close-knit relationships, we share information, connect with farmers, and gain firsthand insights into production. This allows us to offer realistic expectations, advice, and maintain a clear understanding of the ongoing processes. Transparency toward farmers is crucial in providing them access to the specialty market.

We also witness the growth of their businesses firsthand and see the impact of paying higher premiums year by year. The profitability for farmers is always a priority (the economic aspects of sustainability). With production costs on the rise in Colombia, prioritising economic growth for farmers becomes crucial to sustain specialty production. This approach incentivizes farmers to remain competitive and invest in their production.

About the origin

Farmers in Colombia are typically smallholders, owning around 2-5 hectares of land. Coffees are usually processed at small micro-mills on the farm. Farmers deliver parchment to exporters or cooperatives who cup and grade, dry mill and export green coffee. This is the predominant value chain for the coffees we purchase in Colombia.

There are more than 500.000 coffee producers in Colombia, with around 80% or more owning less than 3 hectares of land. Coffee is grown all over the country and is spread out in 19 regions, most of them along the three mountain ranges coming from the Andes in the South. The biggest and most well-known regions are Antioquia, Huila, Tolima, Cauca, Nariño, Caldas, Santander and Sierra Nevada. 

The latitudes range from 2 degrees to about 12 degrees. Altitudes for coffee production can vary from 1200 – 2200 metres above sea level. All producers are picking, pulping, fermenting and drying their coffee themselves in their “micro beneficios”. The coffee is then sold in parchment and delivered to a local town, to a “bodega”. The “bodega” is a purchasing point for parchment and can be represented by a growers association, a cooperative, an exporter, or just an independent local middleman.

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Contact us

Want to know more? Talk with our experts.

Juan Suarez
Green Coffee Buyer & Quality Coordinator
Morten Wennersgaard
Co-CEO & Co-Founder

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