94 Points Coffee Review
COFFEE REVIEW - Colombia Monteblanco Rodrigo Sánchez Carbonic Maceration 94 POINTS - March 2023 Ken Davids of Coffee Review:
Blind Assessment: Subtly suave, brightly juicy anaerobic. Rose, strawberry, cocoa, pink lemonade, yogurt in aroma and cup. A juicy floral acidity dominates in structure, deepened by a hint of savory depth. Lightly silky, lively mouthfeel. Strawberry and cocoa give way to flowers in a drying finish… A light-footed and balanced anaerobic cup, floral without perfumy excess, cleanly fruit-toned and silky in texture.
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*Monday ROAST. This coffee is only ROASTED on Monday.
Please order by Sunday, 11:59 pm PST, to be placed on the roast queue to receive that week’s roast. Please note: Your entire order will be shipped together - as often this causes a delay if you order in advance. If you would not like your order shipped together, please order separately. If your order contains two special roast dates the
order will be separated.
Rodrigo Sánchez is one of our Colombia partners who has won our Colombia Roasters United Award; growing amazing coffee at his Monteblanco farm. This year he took his best beans and elevated to new flavor heights using the Carbonic Maceration Process. The Carbonic Maceration Process allows us to achieve a brighter, more aromatic, floral, sweet coffee, as well as accentuate certain flavors and acidity thanks to the union of the 2 varietals that we select for this process. Cupping flavor notes of orange, pink lemonade and sweet caramelized sugar.
Carbonic Maceration Process fermentation begins with the CO2 being injected into the bins, this displaces the oxygen (O2) existing in the bin leading to a maceration environment. With a starting point at a minimum degree of maturation of 90% and an average Brix degree of 20-24. When picking the coffee cherries quality control is used to filter the best coffee cherries. After the coffee reaches the processing area, it is rafted (floats) in order to eliminate by density those dry beans, brocades, leaves, voids that may affect the homogeneity of fermentation
in addition to improving the physical quality of the coffee (yield factor).
After selection, the coffee is deposited in plastic bins to ferment in cherry for a period of 70 hours, with CO2 injection. During this period the coffee bean undergoes changes in the color of its mucilage that is transferred to the parchment, they are pink tones intense and dark, this helps to improve the sweetness of the coffee and the body of the final drink. This process intensifys the fruity notes of the coffee, the changes in this first stage are more enzymatic. The coffee is pulped and deposited again in the bins with its own juice rich in sugars, the source of fruit juice and microorganisms are incorporated, potentiating the fermentation. These are hermetically covered to start the fermentation that, thanks to the microorganisms, begin to metabolize the sugar chains of the mucilage, developing better fragrance attributes and acidity. CO2 is injected that displaces the oxygen (O2) existing in the bin leading to a maceration environment, this time can be between 70 to 94 hours, there would be a total of between 140 and 188 hours of fermentation
between cherries and mucilage and then washed and dried for a period of 18 to 22 days.
Monteblanco farm is located in the Municipality of Acevedo, San Adolfo Jurisdiction in the village of La Tocora, at an altitude of 1730 m above sea level. In its surroundings we can find the Cueva de los Guácharos national natural park, which is one of the 59 protected areas of the Colombian National Natural Parks system, also highlighting that the Monteblanco farm is located on the Suaza river valley, a quality that provides a connection innate with nature and all that it provides. Monteblanco is a family farm managed by Rodrigo Sánchez Valencia in the tradition of coffee growing that he started together with his grandfather. The 14 hectares of Monteblanco have made it possible for the various varieties to acquire all the facilities for growth and productivity, thanks to its environmental offer it allows cultivating varieties such as Geisha, Bourbon Rosado, Pacamara, Caturra Purpura, Caturra Rojo among others; this has achieved ideal conditions for both physical and sensory adaptation,
developing unique profiles that have achieved worldwide recognition with wide acceptance by the most exclusive palates of the different coffee markets.
It should be noted that this hard work has been done collectively together with our Aromas del Sur team, from processes such as germination, production and export we have reached hundreds of places, being one of the finest Colombian coffees. Within there infrastructure they have a wet mill and drying facilities in the upper part of the farm. In its surroundings, the coffee plantations are planted.
Monteblanco is within an average temperature between 16 and 22 degrees, it also has a luminosity of 1700 hours a year that allows the light to be usable for crops; we also find a parabolic drying temperature and drying under shade, on the canopies or African beds. It has a washing extension, a wet mill where the coffee is pulped and fermented, we also have a cooler that guarantees a stable temperature between 10 and 14 degrees for cold fermentation;
for dry coffees, it is fermented in cans or in exclusive tanks for the fermentation of natural processes on the farm.
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.