Colombia, Los Guacharos Caturra Lot
Colombia, Los Guacharos
Farmer: Viviana Realpe, José Uribe Lasso, Nelson Rodriguez
Region: Bruselas, Huila.
Flavour Notes: Easy drinking, buttery and silky body, very approachable with orange acidity, caramel candy bar.
Los Guacharos are a group of independent, quality-focused small producers in Bruselas, Southern Huila. The group is collectively converting to organic agriculture, making their own fertilizers and fungicides, installing complex water filtration systems that use gravity, stones and sand to remove all mucilage residues from waste water to not contaminate water systems.
This lot is made up of coffee from three individual producers, farming Caturra and Colombia varieties. Cherries are picked as ripe as can be, depulped the same day, fermented until they reach their ideal washing point for maximum sweetness, and fully washed. Each producer has a different regiment, but many dry on raised bets or drying patios, where the coffee is covered with shade cloths. Parchment coffee is stored in grain pro bags at home to ensure that humidity is stable at around 11%. The members of the group have started the conversion to fully ecological and regenerative production, close to biodynamics. The Guacharos produce a brew (called Super Magro) made up of organic minerals and waste products, molasses, bone ash and manure (among other ingredients), fermented with microorganisms collected from virgin soils and used as a fertilizer and protectant from disease. The Super Magro is edible, incredibly effective, and represents a producer-driven grassroots movement empowering producers to increase soil health, reduce costs and stop dependence on Chemicals.
Our partners Michelle and Andrew from Shared source, have been working independently with the Guacharos for several years. They are forcefully self-determined. The group’s power lies in their organization as an association, committed to improving all members’ coffee, and cooperating to sell directly, without working with intermediaries. They have all voluntarily trained at the local agricultural college in specialty coffee production: everything from agronomy and accounting to roasting, cupping and latte art. They collectively pay for consultancy in organic agriculture, and they work on each other’s farms installing water filtration systems and spraying organic fertilizers.
Viviana Realpe also farms in the township of El Mesón, and she has about 8,000 pink bourbon trees on her farm. She and her husband Pablo used to process their cherries at a nearby family member’s farm, but they recently invested in their own we mill processing equipment, which has helped them to more carefully manage the processing of their coffee.
Jose Uribe Lasso and his family farm in the township of Normandía between 1750 and 1860 on their farm Finca El Diviso. His two sons Nestor and Adrian are especially active in helping him to produce coffee on their farm. The family has more land than most in the Guacharos group - they have 7 hectares dedicated to coffee, growing tabi, caturra, pink, yellow, and red bourbon, as well as variedad colombia.
Nelson Rodriguez farms in the township of Pensil, where he has close to 20,000 coffee trees, including pink bourbon, caturra, and San Bernardo varieties. He’s recently taken over the management of some of his family’s plots, and he’s been processing his coffee in sealed pickle barrels in low-oxygen environments.