Whiskey, Purple Flower, Exotic, Raisin, Spicy, Red Apple, Cacao Nib, Full Body
Farm: La villa de don Juan
Producer: Juan Dario Gomez
Area: Isnos Huila
Varietal: Bourbon Aji
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"La villa de don Juan"
Juan, a producer still in his early thirties, owns a coffee plantation in Pitalito, Colombia, and represents the second generation of coffee producers on his farm. His concept goes beyond relying solely on refining methods; he emphasizes the quality of the coffee cherries themselves. The project started 2-3 years ago when they began transplanting carefully selected seeds.
His brother also owns a plantation in the same region, and the naturally processed coffee from Pink Bourbon, cultivated there, received awards in two categories at this year's "la tierra de diversidad" (the land of diversity). La tierra de diversidad is a significant coffee appraisal competition in Colombia, second only to COE, where the top 25 lots out of 70 are auctioned off to buyers and roasters from around the world after the competition. Their lots secured 2nd place in Body and 3rd place in Balance among the top three lots in the categories of Body, Balance, Mouthfeel, Exotic, and Acidity.
Their commitment to quality is well-recognized in the competition. As of the summer of 2023, this coffee from the farm, which is not only new to Japan but also marks the farm's first export to Asia, is eagerly anticipated for its further achievements in the future.
Huila Province in Colombia is widely recognized as a place where the latest coffee varieties are discovered. Bourbon Aji is a new variety found in the southern areas of Huila Province, such as Pitalito and Acevedo.
The term "Aji" carries nuances related to chili sauce and spicy foods in the local context. True to its name, Bourbon Aji features a subtle spicy and ginger-like accent in the cherry itself, offering a flavor distinct from Bourbon varieties like Pink Bourbon. This flavor difference is noticeable at the cherry stage. The coffee named Bourbon Aji achieved its first ranking in the 2023 Cup of Excellence (COE). It is anticipated that many farms will venture into the production of this exceptional variety, showcasing various characteristics in the future.
The green beans had a rather yellowish appearance, and there was a scent reminiscent of fermentation. Therefore, for the initial sample roasting, I increased the entry temperature to raise the early calories, aiming to explore a profile akin to fermentation. However, I struggled to grasp the timing of the first crack, and ended up roasting a bit too dark. Since the flavor development was also somewhat weak, I adjusted by slightly lowering the entry temperature, allowing more time until color change, and making sure not to reduce the heat too much in the latter part of roasting, achieving a medium-light roast! After the adjustment, a tropical aroma emerged around the first crack timing.
From the moment the bag was opened, I already sensed a depth resembling that of a spirit, like aged liquor matured in barrels. There's an aroma reminiscent of aged liquor aged in barrels. A complex flavor profile is discernible, featuring purple flowers, raisins, and cocoa-like notes. The aftertaste leaves a spicy lingering sensation, imparting an exotic impression. As it cools, apple-like flavors emerge, combining with the spiciness to create a taste akin to apple pie.