Colombia - El Vergel Guava Banana
Farm: El Vergel
Farmers: Shady & Elias Bayter
Varietal: Red & Yellow Caturra
Processing Method: Double Fermentation & Sun-drying
Altitude: 1,350 Meters above sea level
This was the coffee that made us want to partner directly with farms in Colombia. After talking a few times with Shady (pronounced Shah - dee) over the phone we worked out the delivery of some samples and, even before roasting, I was immediately drawn to the Guava Banana. The unroasted beans smell unlike any bean I have ever had - bursting with funky fruit aromas that are sweet and inviting like a strawberry banana smoothie. The coloration on the beans is also exquisite going from the standard faded jade green to sepia streaks and dotted with honey colored gems. This coffee is a sensory overload.
The intense flavors come primarily from the cutting edge processing techniques that take a great bean to the next level. After pulping, the brothers ferment the beans with the pulp in open air for 12 hours. This is just enough time to get the wild yeast started and then the coffee is submerged under water in massive oxygen-free fermentation tanks. The lack of oxygen and precise temperature control slows the fermentation process which is what imparts the unique flavor profile.
As much as I love to say words, there just aren't words good enough to capture how diverse the flavors are in this coffee. The first thing that hits is a bright and very pleasant acidity followed by sweet notes of guava and creamy rambutan. The finish hits with lime zest and candied red apple. If all of that sounds wild, trust me that it is in the most wonderful way. This is the type of coffee that just needs to be tasted.