ICON 09, "Red Plum" Castillo
ICON 09, "Red Plum" Castillo

ICON 09, "Red Plum" Castillo

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Another coffee from the ever popular Diego Samuel Bermudez. This time we chose a lot which really showcases how experimental processing can elevate a humble variety like Castillo. We believe that this is where pushing the boundaries of coffee processing can have the greatest effect; by improving the cup profile you can add value to what would typically be seen as a low quality coffee.

This lot is full of Diego’s trademark intense sweetness and fruit character. This one tastes like a bag of skittles; strawberry, pineapple and raspberry notes with an intense candy-like sweetness.

PRODUCER: Diego Samuel Bermudez
CULTIVAR: Castillo
PREPARATION: Washed, Special Preparation
LOCATION: Finca El Paraiso, El Tambo, Cauca, Colombia
ALTITUDE: 1,700 - 1,950 masl
BAG SIZE: 200g

Diego was born in Bolivar, Cauca and works on their farm in the El Tambo municipality with his wife, two daughters and two brothers. Villa Esperanza - Paraiso sits between 1,700 and 1,950 masl and covers 27 hectares of land. The farms are planted with Castillo, Colombia, Caturra, Gesha and Pink Bourbon.

The family built their own lab on the farm to firstly understand about cupping and roasting so that they could properly assess the fermentation protocols which they began designing and experimenting with. Diego also achieved the CQI Level 2 Processing qualification which developed his understanding of how cup profiles could be affected by controlling the pH, temperature and the microorganisms present during fermentation. As well as meticulously controlled fermentation there is attention to detail in all of the critical processes during production, from selection through to drying, which are necessary to consistently produce lots of this calibre.

Diego has a strong focus on technology and with his business partner Wilton Renso Benitez, has founded Indestec who are at the vanguard of coffee processing equipment. The company has developed high-tec drying appliances which aim to mitigate the changeable climatic conditions and recover evaporated water, allowing them to replicate coffees of such high standards.

In 1967, breeders in Portugal began working to create new varieties of coffee that would be resistant to the leaf rust, but also have a compact stature that could be planted more densely. They selected some of the rust-resistant Timor Hybrid lines and crossed them with compact Caturra. The Timor Hybrid is a natural cross between C. arabica and C. canephora (Robusta) that appeared spontaneously on the island of Timor in 1920s. The Robusta genetics provided natural resistance to leaf rust which make this an extremely important Hybrid.

The Colombia variety is another hybridisation of Caturra and the Timor Hybrid which has been developed over five generations by Cenicafe between 1968 and 1982.It was developed in advance of Colombia’s first coffee leaf rust outbreak, which hit the country in 1983. Released in 2005, Castillo, which takes its name from researcher Jaime Castillo and is actually trademarked by Cenicafe, is an improvement of the Colombia variety and has become the most planted variety in Colombia.

This Castillo has undergone a rigorously controlled process:

  • Fermentation as whole cherry for 28 hours in tanks with relief valves at a temperature of 19° Celsius
  • The cherries are pulped
  • Fermentation in tanks with mucilage for 40 hours at 21° Celsius
  • Thermic shock washed:
    • First wash with water at 40° Celsius
    • Second wash with water at 12° Celsius
  • Controlled drying for 28 hours at 42° Celsius and a relative humidity of 25%, until reaching a bean moisture between 10% - 11%


    Previous releases...

    01 - Natural Ja'adi, Haraz, Yemen
    02 - Cold-Fermented Gesha, Rodrigo Sanchez, Colombia
    03 - Rocosa Montaña Gesha, Familia Hartmann, Panama
    04 - Typica Mejorado 48hr Natural, Alfonso Villagomez, Ecuador
    05 - Gesha Special Preparation, Diego Samuel Bermudez, Colombia
    06 - Cup of Excellence 4th Place, Fidel Huancas Huancas, Peru
    07 - Aramosa Anaerobic Fermentation, Daterra Masterpiece D07, Brazil
    08 - Java, Yeast Fermentation, Fabian Acevedo Rojas, Colombia