Colombia Wush Wush Planadas [Filter] 250g
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Colombia Wush Wush Planadas [Filter] 250g
Washed, anaerobic fermentation
Strawberry, pineapple, peach
Despite its name suggesting a flat area, Finca Planadas is located in the mountainous Tolima region. Known as Colombia’s pantry, Tolima produces more than 70% of the food consumed in the country. The department of Tolima is also among Colombia’s largest coffee-producing regions.
The farm covers 700 hectares of land, whereof 300 ha are preserved forest and 40 ha are dedicated to growing coffee. The remaining area is being cultivated with vegetables and used for cattle farming. The Amaya family is not a typical coffee household. The members of the family from Ibagué have spread across Colombia and the world working as doctors, agricultural engineers and other white-collar jobs, before moving into agriculture and coffee a few years ago. Some of the coffee trees had already been there for 40 years when they bought the farm. Initially not a priority, coffee became a passion and a focus for the family soon.
Carlos is really committed to helping the community and protecting the region from being bought up by international companies to create massive avocado plantations and chopping down hundreds of hectares of forests. Monocultures like this – whether it's avocados or something else – are capable of completely destroying the ecosystem. Many coffee producers have been offered good money and therefore sold their not-always-profitable coffee farms to these companies. The people who used to work on these farms were left without jobs. Carlos is trying to offer jobs to as many of them as possible on his farm Planadas, where salaries are 30% above the average in the region.
There are also a lot of people who fled from Venezuela, seeking accommodation and work in the area. Planadas is offering accommodation to three Venezuelan families and teaching them how to do various jobs on the farm.
The team around Carlos saw great potential in growing the Ethiopian variety Wush Wush. They realized that the climatic conditions on their farm in Tolima are ideal for this variety and that with proper care and good processing techniques a rather unique, high-quality coffee can be produced. The variety had not been seen very often in Colombia until it recently started to attract more attention due to the excellent results some growers were achieving with it. They don't want to make lots of money, but they want to be able to sustain the farm. To do so, their goal is to produce really high quality coffee and to cut middlemen when selling their coffee.
Fermentation, drying, milling and storage – the entire process takes place on the farm. Carlos and the team do a lot of experimenting when it comes to processing their coffees and they are very active in the coffee community, sharing information with other coffee growers in the region and partnering up to improve processing methods. They have been experimenting with the Wush Wush variety and working on different ways to process it for a couple of years and today, they're really happy with the results – and so are we.
The ripe coffee cherries are washed for 48 hours, during which a natural fermentation takes places, before being depulped (beans being mechanically squeezed out of the cherry). The coffee is washed right after and moved to tanks, in which an anaerobic fermentation takes place. Finally, it's being dried on raised beds («marquesinas»). The whole process takes up to three weeks.
Along with his brother Kike, who happens to be an agricultural engineer, Carlos constantly works on implementing new ways to reduce water waste and avoiding chemicals, for example by producing fertilizer with the coffee pulp. Partnering up with universities in the region, they frequently have students coming to the farm to work on collaborative projects in the fields of coffee and agriculture in general.
The post-harvest processing and the special Wush Wush variety of this coffee create a very distinct cup profile. The coffee is sweet and juicy and tastes of red berries, especially strawberries, and tropical fruits. We think of a sweet strawberry candy when drinking it.