Most of us at Carvetii love drinking coffees from East Africa, with their bright, citrus, fruity notes. From Rwanda over the winter months to Ethiopia and Kenya in the summer, we will use as many coffees from this region as we can. However, there is also a place in our offering for very easy drinking coffees, such as Finca El Chocho from the Antioquia region of Colombia. When you drink this coffee you experience a balanced acidity, a soft brown sugar sweetness and lingering notes of milk chocolate. It’s difficult not to drink a second cup!
Antioquia is regarded as the birthplace of coffee in Colombia. The main harvests take place between September and December with a fly or mitaca crop between April and May.
Juan Crisostomo Marin and his wife, Margarita Lopez Diaz, purchased Finca El Chocho in 1983. When they first married (nearly a decade earlier), they had agreed that their wedding present to themselves would one day be to buy their own farm and that they would finally stop working on other peoples farms as labourers. Buying El Chocho, named after the ‘Chocho’ (Ormosia var.) tree that grows near the farm’s patio, was the realisation of that joint project, and the couple have never looked back since.
They have since joined up with the Cooperativa de Caficultores de Andes (Cooperandes), a regional cooperative whose microlot program has helped transform Antioquia’s coffee industry, and have managed to develop a very high quality coffee with the coop’s help. Truly, the farm is an equal partnership. Doña Margarita attends the regular trainings that Cooperandes holds and is widely recognised as a leader in her town. Don Crisostomo (as he is called locally) conducts most of the work on the farm, along with his son, who helps with every task. Together, the family has worked hard to make the farm the very best it can be, and they have even succeeded in gaining Fair Trade certification for the farm. The earnings have been enough that Don Criostomo’s daughter has been able to continue her studies.
Caturra is a natural mutation of the bourbon varietal. It is a dwarf varietal and allows more trees to be grown per hectare, and has a higher productivity level.
Colombia is a catarrh and timor hybrid, which is highly productive and resistant to leaf rust. It was first released in 1982.
Harvesting and Processing
All coffee at El Chocho is hand harvested, sorted to remove any underripe or damaged cherries and then pulped on the same day it is picked. Coffee is fermented in tanks for around 36 hours and afterwards is washed in cool, clean
water. It is finally delivered to dry on parabolic beds under the sun. These parabolic beds, known locally as marquesinas – which are constructed a bit like ‘hoop house’ greenhouses, with airflow ensured through openings in both ends – both protect the parchment from rain and mist as it is dried and prevent condensation from dripping back on the drying beans.
After reaching 11 per cent humidity, the coffee is bagged and then stored to rest for 2 weeks, after which it is taken to the Andes collecting centre for dry milling.
You can buy this coffee from our website