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Day 15 - Colombia | El Hato

Blume Coffee Roasters

This coffee was grown and processed by six smallholder producers that are situated around the village of El Hato, a small community located in the municipality of Caicedo, in the state of Antioquia, Colombia.

The farms that contributed to this lot are very small – on average just 1.5 hectares in size – and are located at an incredible 2,000-2,200m above sea level. El Hato is one of the highest sub-municipalities of Caicedo, and therefore in Colombia. The coffee is grown on the side of a deep canyon, which drops down to the mighty Cauca River, some 500m above sea level. The steep canyon walls trap warm currents, which circulate to higher ground and make it possible for coffee to be grown at such staggeringly high elevations. The unique geological attributes of the region contribute to the outstanding cup profile of coffees farmed and processed in the area.

Smallholder farmers in this area were pioneers in planting and producing coffee at these high elevations. They were initially told by Colombia’s national coffee grower’s federation (Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia or FNC) that it would be impossible to grow coffee in such a cool climate. However, many farmers bought land here out of necessity as it was much more affordable than at lower elevations, which were considered more prosperous for coffee production. Their hard work has since paid off, with the area becoming recognised for the exceptional cup quality and characteristics. The cool climate is ideal for the slow ripening of coffee cherries, leading to denser beans and a sweeter, more complex cup profile. Coffees from El Hato now attract high premiums from specialty buyers, who are able to access the region through the work of exporters like our supply partners, Pergamino.

About This Roaster

We are a new and very small business, literally just one of us at this point. As such we do not believe it is a practical business model to be flying around the world buying high grade, micro lot coffee. Well, not just yet anyway. Let me explain a little. There are many reasons for this but I’ll focus on the two main ones.

 Firstly, this is a costly enterprise. The money that would foreseeably be spent on travel, could be used in other parts of the business to help it grow and become sustainable. At the small volume we roast now, I’ve made the choice to spend a little bit more on our green, or raw, coffee. Volume brings me to point two. We do not currently roast enough coffee to be able to make any form of positive impact at farm level on our own. It is far more effective for us to buy our coffees from importers and exporters who have ethics and values that align with our own and that we can trust. In short, as a community of business’ along the supply chain we can help shape it into having a more equitable & sustainable future.

In terms of quality we don’t want to just rest on our laurels and tell you what so many others already do. That we will source & roast the very best coffees in the world. How can we all have the best? What we can promise you is that we will source coffees from around the globe, that are delicious and varied. As roasters, we will try not to undo the hard work of producers, hopefully highlighting what all that toil has delivered us.

 Thank you for reading.

 -Angus Gibbs

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