In July of 2019 our team travelled to Colombia and more precisely to Finca La Leona in Planadas, an area in Tolima. The owner of the farm, Afranio Enciso, was nice enough to show us around and spend some time with the Samba team.
One of the things that immediately caught our attention was the placement of the coffee trees in the farm. Each plant had been placed in even gaps between the next one and they would be pruned to a specific height. This helps the coffees get developed properly and at the same time the farmers can cherry-pick the fruits more efficiently. We must mention the fact that coffee is being harvested twice a year in the area and this is important for us as we can receive fresh crops more often.
Colombia has a big tradition in washed processed coffees and Afranio shared with Nikos Antzaras (head Roaster) and Michalis Katsiavos (head of RnD) the reasons why the farmers have been skeptical with naturally processed coffees. The fermented and high in sweetness flavor profiles that the natural coffees developed, were considered a by-product and not very positive in terms of taste by the locals. Our team spoke with the farmers and not only advised them that these flavors are what we are looking for in naturally processed coffees, but they also organized a cupping seminar for everyone at La Leona! The people there were shown how to cup and score coffees in conjunction with the SCA cupping protocols. Once the farmers rated the coffees which are grown on the farm, they felt excited and proud at the high scores their crops would achieve! It’s not surprising that one of their coffees got the 8th place (out of 1.000 entries) in the 2015 Cup of Excellence competition (COE)!
Finally we would like to mention Laura Enciso, Afranio’s daughter. She has taken over from her father and over the past few years she has been trying to move Finca La Leona into a more bio-friendly type of farming. We would like to support her work not only because she is one of the very few female farmers in Colombia, but also because her coffee is of such high level! Hopefully we will be able to visit them again soon. Until then, we present you the La Leona coffee.
Altitude: 1800 – 2100masl
Variety: Red Caturra
Flavor Profile: Raspberry, peach, caramel. Malic acidity, silky body