This season, we have a long and exciting list of delicious coffees from Colombia. We were especially taken with this coffee from Huila, a bright and sweet cup with a very unique and memorable acidity.
16 years ago, Oliver Berdugo bought a few Caturra-variety plants and transplanted them at his finca La Floresta, located in the vereda of Marticas, municipality of Acevedo, department of Huila. Soon after, while walking his cafetal, he realized there was one tree that was bigger and seemed to be more rust-resistant than the rest. He nicknamed this tree “Caturron” or “big Caturro” and the rest is history.
Oliver would eventually begin producing seedlings from his Caturron and today, at La Floresta, these trees live on, except he now knows that his Caturron is actually the Maracaturra variety. Today he has 3,000 Colombia variety trees, 2,000 Castillo and approximately 3,000 Caturron or Maracaturra trees.
La Floresta spans 2 hectares and sits 1,250 m.a.s.l. Oliver, his wife and their four children, call this finca home, where his wife also hand weaves hats, bracelets and other goods out of a special natural fiber derived from a specific type of palm tree.
Oliver has been working with specialty coffee for a relatively short amount of time but he is committed to learning and continuing to improve his post-collection processing, also known as the beneficio, here in Colombia.
All three of the coffee varieties grown at La Floresta have a different beneficios but they all begin with the same traditional post-collection processing. The cherries are hand-selected for peak ripeness. They are then de-pulped and fermented. The fermentation is done in tanks and the Maracaturra and Colombia beans are fermented with a little bit of water, while the Castillo is done completely dry.
The Maracaturra is fermented for 36 hours, the Colombia for roughly 32 and the Castillo for 28 hours. The beans are then washed and put out to dry on raised beds for 15 days. Oliver is
proud of his secadero, or drying system, because he researched it and put a lot of effort into developing it. We are very fortunate to work with such passionate and determined producing partners such as Oliver Berdugo.