ICON 21 – Bourbon Sidra, Natural - Birthday Sale!!!
ICON 21 – Bourbon Sidra, Natural - Birthday Sale!!!

ICON 21 – Bourbon Sidra, Natural - Birthday Sale!!!

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Our first Bourbon Sidra, a unique and high-quality hybrid variety created on a research farm funded by Nestlé. Alfonso’s coffees are always impeccably processed and super complex. This coffee has a really interesting profile with notes of lemongrass, watermelon, loads of citrus, white floral aromas and a touch of rhubarb.

PRODUCER: Alfonso Villagomez
CULTIVAR: Bourbon Sidra
LOCATION: Hacienda San Agustin, Tulipe, Pichincha, Ecuador
ALTITUDE: 1,600 – 1,700 masl
BAG SIZE: 150g

Ecuador is a country better known for its cacao and flower production than coffee, and is often overshadowed by its neighbours Colombia and Peru. However, they are producing some incredibly exotic and highly sought after coffees, due in part to the high altitudes and the range of traditional and improved varieties found here. The best quality coffees from here command really high prices due to the high labour costs involved, low yields and high cost of production.

80 kilometres north-west of the capital city of Quito, lies the parish of Tulipe. The region is characterised by the ruins of the Yumbos; an ancestral people who inhabited the area from around 800 BC. The ancient ruins of Tulipe were once a ceremonial site where the beliefs of the Yumbos were reflected in the geometry and architecture. During the conquests of the Incas and the Spanish, they endured by adopting the role of merchants, offering agricultural goods and access to trading routes from the coast to the high Andes. It is believed that their disappearance was due partly to diseases brought by the colonisers, followed by a powerful eruption of the Pichincha volcano in 1660. Nowadays, Tulipe is a touristic and agricultural area, producing mainly sugar cane and cattle.

Alfonso Villagomez is a Q-grader and former environmental consultant who is incredibly methodical in his approach to producing coffee. His hacienda, San Agustin is located only a few hundred miles from the ruins of Tulipe. Although the farm has belonged to his family for three generations, they only started producing coffee as recently as 2014. They grow both Typica Mejorado and Caturra and their typical cup profiles are very sweet, fruity and have really interesting acidity. Alfonso has a keen eye for detail and he has been experimenting with extended fermentations and carbonic maceration. He is also one of the few producers in the area who can offer a natural processed coffee as the region is very humid and has abundant annual rainfall. His solution is drying the cherries in his solar-powered drying chambers, or “oreadores” where the heat and humidity can be precisely controlled.

The Bourbon Sidra cultivar, more commonly referred to as Sidra, was developed on a large research farm in Ecuador through funding from Nestlé. Most modern hybrids are created with the aim of improving productivity and increasing resistance to pests and disease, however this variety was created by manually crossing Red Bourbon and Ethiopian heirloom varieties which carried Typica lineage, with the sole aim of creating a high quality cup profile, highlighting both the heavy sweetness of Bourbon and the delicate florals that Typica is well-known for. In exchange for feedback, Nestlé offered the variety to farmers in the region, leading to a surge in its cultivation in Ecuador.

This is the first natural processed Sidra from the farm and is the result of much experimentation with wet fermentation. After picking, the ripe cherries are fermented submerged in water for a period of 72 hours, using the microorganisms present on the farm. They are then moved to the drying chests to slowly dry over two weeks before being removed and rested for a couple of weeks then prepared for export.