ICON Limited Release Series (Wholesale Only)
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January's unique coffee is an experimentally processed Gesha from Rodrigo Sanchez's Monteblanco farm in Huila, Colombia. This is a truly stunning and complex lot with loads of floral notes like jasmine and honeysuckle, soft fruit flavours of peach and melon with a touch of ginger.
PREPARATION: Washed, Cold-Fermentation
LOCATION: Finca Monteblanco, Huila
ALTITUDE: 1,730 masl
Finca Monteblanco sits high along the winding mountain roads of Vereda La Tocora in the San Adolfo municipality above Pitalito. The farm is situated at the crest of a hill with the wet and dry mill at the top and the coffee trees growing on the surrounding slopes. Rodrigo Sanchez Valencia manages the family farm on which his grandfather first cultivated coffee.
A group of producers in this region belong to a development project which aims to improve the genetic diversity and resilience in the coffee fields through planting new varieties. In 2016, Rodrigo and his team planted Gesha, grown from seeds originally from Panama which were a gift from a client. Gesha is naturally resistant to leaf rust (roya) and its trees are tall with lots of space between the branches which mean lower yields but easier selection of the ripest cherries when picking.
Cold fermentation is a process which Rodrigo and his team pioneered in 2015. By reducing the temperature, the fermentation is extended with the aim of producing more complexity in the cup profile. The process has been tweaked over the years in order to find the ideal ripeness level of the coffee matched with the perfect temperature to yield the best sensorial results.
Coffee selected for cold fermentation typically has a sugar content of 28 degrees Brix at the time of harvest. The whole cherries are floated in a tank of water to remove any which are under or over ripe. They are then depulped, placed in GrainPro bags and immediately transferred to the cold room to ferment, where temperature is regulated between 10-13°C for 76 hours. The loose mucilage (remaining fruit) is then washed off before the coffee is transferred to a solar drier (a bit like a large greenhouse) for 3 days and then on to raised beds in the shade, to continue drying for 23-25 days. This careful slow drying is crucial for maintaining quality and ensuring longevity.