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This microlot was produced and processed by Carlos Alberto Ulchur, a smallholder member of the ASORCAFE - Inzá, Cauca producer group. Produced at 1,900 metres above sea level, this very special lot was selected out from the rest of the organization’s producers as being of exceptional quality. With cola, caramel, berries, and stewed fruit upfront, accompanied by a juicy mouthfeel and really nice acidity, this coffee had us wowed and is a great showcase for what this remote and often overlooked region of Colombia has to offer.
The municipality of Inzá is located in the corner of the Department of Cauca, bordering with Tolima and Huila and looking out to the west over the Pacific Ocean. Situated on the “Macizo Colombiano” (the Colombian Plateau), which surrounds the high peaks of Tolima and Huila, the region is an important source of water and wildlife, in addition to being prime coffee growing land.
ASORCAFE (Asociación de Productores de Café del Oriente Caucano) represents, in total, some 450 producers from across the Department. This specific lot, however, has been selected only from Sr. Ulchur’s production this year. Every single producer delivering to the group has their lot cupped by the Association’s cupping lab in Pedregal. Lots scoring 85 points or more are reserved for the Inzá, Cauca microlot offered by Mercanta. However, encouraged by our partners in Colombia, Santa Barbara Estates, the group has also begun to reserve those lots that cup even higher than 85 points or that demonstrate exceptional or unique qualities. These stringent standards result in identifying very small, very special microlots, such as this one, being made available for export.
The association of coffee growers, ASORCAFE, was founded in 2004 by 10 coffee growers with an entrepreneurial spirit who were tired of private parchment buyers who were paying them below national prices. The region’s violent past, with a heavy presence of FARC guerrillas, had historically prevented the FNC (Colombia’s excellent national coffee board) and specialty-focused exporters from establishing a presence in the region. As violence has diminished, it has enabled the growers in the region to seek increased access to markets for quality, not only taking advantage of the region’s wonderful coffee-growing conditions but also the economic resource that nearby tourist destinations bring (for instance, the World Heritage Site “Parque Nacional Arqueológico de Tierradentro”). In the future, Mercanta fully expects increasingly great things in coffee from the area.