Colombian coffee: Nariño Part 2

April 27, 2012

I’m back! I was away for a few days, but here I am again telling you more about the persons who strive to supply good coffee to the world.

FINCA LOMA SECA (Dry Hill), Chilcal Bajo township in the La Unión Municipality.

Varietal: Colombia

1890 m = 6200 ft

Owner: Mauro Reyes

Cup: Floral aromas and juicy citrus flavors permeate this brilliant, round-bodied, balanced coffee.

Mauro used to have near 15,000 trees in about 5 Hectares (12.4 acres) of land, until the “roya” hit on him. At this time, he already has 5,000 new trees in production. Again, tender, loving care and lots of dedication by Mauro and his family, are a guarantee that only the best beans go to market. Additionally, Mauro’s niece Johanna is a trained cupper, so she oversees production in order to guarantee constant quality and a consistent cup.

Finca Italia (Italy) La Betulia township, Municipality of La Unión.

Varietals: Caturra, Colombia

1,600 m = 5,250 ft

Owner: Gabriel Antonio Rey

Cup: Caramelized chocolate and floral aromas abound in this silky-bodied, tea-like coffee.

In about 3 hectares (7.4 acres) Gabriel has 11,500 coffee trees. He explains why he personally supervises every aspect of production: “We make sure that the coffee we produce is good. We are conscious of the fact that it is a food product and that this food product travels very far and is highly fancied by people, especially in the United States.”

His coffee, as in all of the other farms, is shade-grown and he takes great pride in showing a 100-year old tree, which he calls “El Viejo” and under its shade, all coffee trees are “a much livelier green”. El Viejo’s fallen leaves and organic matter have formed a mattress of natural, organic compost that not only fertilizes the soil but, most importantly, prevents weeds from growing.

It should be noted that most of Colombia’s coffee is shade-grown under native trees. In some regions banana and plantain are used for shade, but many other types of trees are also used.

The photo shows Gabriel Rey and his wife Karen in their Finca Italia. Notice the mountainous terrain typical of the Departamento de Nariño.

Gabriel and Karen Rey

Our next journey will take us to other Departamentos of Colombia.

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