Right now we are roasting Colombia Finca El Salado. This 100% Caturra micro-lot was produced by Rafael and Leonela Burgos on their small 1.5 hectare farm, El Salado, which is located near the town of Pompeya, in Eastern Nariño, Colombia.
Tucked away in the upper reaches of the beautiful Juanambú Canyon, Pompeya is so small that its narrow streets can’t be found in google maps. The town sits at a major crossroads —where the tropical climate of the Amazons meets the cold winds of the Andes. The unique geography and climate of Pompeya provide the perfect conditions to produce exceptional coffee.
Unfortunately, coffee isn’t the only plant that thrives in this region. Poppies (used to make opioids) do too — making the region a major target of drug related violence in the 1990s and early 2000s. As a result, Rafael and Leonela, who have owned their farm for over thirty years, have had to move around and on several occasions completely abandon their coffee farm.
Today, however, they are settled back in El Salado, and committed to building a long term and prosperous future that is tied to specialty coffee. They have all right conditions to do this – rich soil and a unique micro-climate that enables coffee to thrive at extremely high elevations – over 2,150m above sea level. It is typically very difficult to produce coffee at such high altitudes, however Nariño’s proximity to the equatorial line and steep hills around the volcanoes provide a great angle for sun exposure. The high altitude of cultivation combined with warm tropical days and cools nights allows for slow maturation and development of the coffee cherry, giving time for concentrated sugars to develop in the fruit and resulting in a very unique, sweet, and complex cup profile from this region.