Our Colombia La Unión Nariño AA revives with a sweet aroma. With flavor notes of stone fruit apricot, sweet creamy caramel and lavender; and undertones of chocolate, persimmon, floral, and honey, our Colombia Nariño is perfectly balanced with a sweet body.
Coffee cultivation on small family-owned farms is the backbone of production in Colombia. Banexport, a Colombian export company, works directly with many of these producers who have a shared commitment for exquisite coffee processing and loving care for their farms and the environment.
Banexport helps producers gain access to technical support regarding best practices for farm management, processing the harvest, and cupping feedback, which helps producers improve the quality of their coffee. The model of collaborative effort produces traceable community blends with vibrant regional profiles.
This lot comes from 20 producers with small farms in the municipality of La Unión within the department of Nariño. Each producer has their own micro-mill where they carefully harvest cherries, depulp, ferment, wash and gently dry the parchment on raised beds. While individual producers have designed farm management and post-harvest solutions to fit their needs, the strong alliance with Banexport provides crucial logistical support for things like warehousing and milling coffee for export to the international market, which provides better income for everyone to re-invest in their farms and strengthen their families’ livelihoods.
History of Colombian Coffee
As with many coffee origins, it is believed that coffee was first brought to Colombia by priests, arriving, perhaps, within a decade or two after coffee first came to the Americas via the Caribbean in the first half of the 17th century. It was likely a garden crop grown for local consumption and barter for decades. Generations of Colombians tell the story of a priest named Francisco Romero, who could be called the father of commercial coffee cultivation in Colombia. The folkloric tale goes that in the early 1800’s, Father Francisco, hearing confessions in the north eastern town of Salazar de la Palmas, assigned planting coffee to his parishioners as penance for their sins. The Archbishop of Colombia heard about this and ordered all priests to adopt the practice. Commercial production of coffee expanded quickly, moving into regions where the growing conditions were ideal.
Growing Coffee in Colombia
Even though it’s been 4,000 years, the soil resulting from the last major eruption of Tolima is still considered “young soil,” filled with nutrients that are no longer found at the same levels in old soil. Volcanic soil contains high levels of potassium and nitrogen, which are fading or absent in other soils. “Boron”, which arrived from outer space long ago, is also present. Boron plays a key role in a diverse range of plant functions: it is essential to the structure of plant cell walls and in the creation of enzymes, and in flowering and fruit formation, meaning that Boron contributes to coffee seed yield.
In addition to nutrients, the structure of volcanic soil is also beneficial to coffee growing. It can soak up and hold moisture while, at the same time, facilitating good drainage so that the water doesn’t pool, which is not good for coffee plant roots. Coffee plants like to take a drink, then take a break. Additionally, volcanic soils are usually found on an incline, which also helps with drainage. All of these “microclimate” factors come together to bring you the complex, nuanced flavors in your cup of coffee.