This Washed Colombian coffee has his own personality. We find at first a flavour of pink lemonade, a perfect child memory. The sweetness of this coffee reminds us also of honey collected during spring which makes it a really good cocktail.
We personally prepare it using the drip method, but it works perfectly fine with every infusion method.
Angel Ortega is a second generation coffee grower from San Agustin Huila, who has been growing coffee since he was a teenager. He began in his youth working alongside his father and brother, Augusto Ortega, and managed his own plot of 700 trees to begin with. In 1985, at the age of 24, he set out on his own and planted a lot of 10,000 trees of the Colombia variety.
Though San Agustin now is a storied coffee growing area, with nearly 6000 coffee growers across the region, in the 1980s the arid soils in the Kennedy zone where Angel set up to grow meant the area was bereft of coffee. Every summer when the heavy rains would come, soil would wash down from the farms and cover the roads, such was the situation.
That being said, those who were able to successfully grow coffee like the Ortega brothers benefited from certain aspects that lack now. For example, in the 1980s, nobody in this area used chemical products on their coffee as there was no need for heavy fertilizer use to encourage growth of beautiful crops. Compare that to now, where a steady trend towards monocultures coupled with the increase of climate related diseases like roya means that producers need to apply fertilizers three to four times a year and must treat for diseases at least once a year as well.
Due to a much less developed coffee growing culture forty years ago, Angel originally sold his coffee en verde which means that it was depulped and then sold without being dried. There were few options of buyers locally for coffee dried to parchment, and entering into them often required fees that were prohibitive.
Despite that, Don Angel (like many of his generation) reflect on the times gone by with nostalgia. Then, the cost of living was much lower and the higher productivity with lower input costs of their farms meant coffee growing could be a much more profitable venture than it became over the resulting decades.
In the year 2000, Don Angel joined a local coffee growers union that assisted him in learning about specialty grade coffees and he and the other growers began to develop a client base in Europe through this. However, these were always sold in blend lots without his name on it.
Farmgate price: 1,800,000 Colombian Pesos per carga
National farmgate price September: 1,135,000 Colombian Pesos per carga
FOB price: $2.75USD/lb
Type: Single origin
Notes: Pink lemonade, Yellow flower honey
Region: San Augustìn, Huila
Producer: Angel Ortega
Varieties: Pink Bourbon