La Casita | Colombia | Filter
We Nitrogen Flush all of our coffee when bagging for an inert shelf stable environment by locking freshness inside for up to 6 weeks prior to opening
Producer: Gustavo de Jesús Berrío & Adriana Berrio
Farm: Finca La Casita
Region: La Cartagena, Urrao, Antioquia
Process: Washed Extended Fermentation
Altitude: 1950 masl
This 100% Caturra variety micro-lot was produced by Gustavo de Jesús and Adriana Berrío, on their 1.5 hectare farm, La Casita (meaning “little house”). Finca La Casita sits at 1,950 meters above sea level, located in the sloping hills that surround Rio Pendarisco, in the unique growing region of Urrao, in Western Antioquia, Colombia. The land was initially purchased by Gustavo’s parents, who moved their family here in the 1980s from the region Caicedo, escaping the danger and disruption resulting from violent clashes between government, rebel and illegal paramilitary groups at that time. After his father passed away, Gustavo inherited the family farm and continues to grow coffee and other crops on the land, assisted by his son, David.
The family has used the farm for different purposes over the years, sometimes dedicating the land exclusively to crops like beans and lulo, a type of local passionfruit. Historically, they regarded coffee as a less profitable crop, due to its labour-intensive production and the instability of its price. This has changed in recent years, as specialty buyers have gained access to regions like Urrao and pricing has increased and stabilised for high-quality lots. Like many farmers in the region, Gustavo has planted Caturra, a high quality variety that grows well in Urrao’s cool climate.
Urrao is a unique and special coffee growing region, located in the valley of Rio Pendarisco, between 1900 and 2000 meters above sea level. Unlike other producing regions in Colombia – which are characterised by deep canyons and massive, rugged mountains – Urrao is covered in rolling green hills, calm pastures and beautiful rivers that snake through the landscape. This geography guarantees cool temperatures year-round, typically only reaching between 12-25 degrees. This cool climate is ideal for slow ripening of coffee cherries, leading to denser beans and a sweeter, more complex cup profile.
Until recently Urrao was overlooked as a coffee-producing region and dismissed by many as being too cold for good production. There is still very little coffee produced in the area, despite it being some of the most fertile land in Antioquia. Like Gustavo, many farmers complement the income they make from coffee by growing other crops like lulo and beans. Coffee grown in Urrao is slowly becoming recognised and sought after for the high quality and complexity of coffees produced here. Farms in Urrao are very small – averaging just 1.5 hectares – and are traditionally farmed. Fertilisation occurs around three times a year, usually after manual weeding, and pesticides are rarely used. The coffee is selectively hand-harvested, with most labour being provided by the farmers and their families.
The coffee was pulped using a small manual pulper, and then placed into a fermentation tank. Because of the cooler climate in Urrao, producers in Urrao tend to ferment the coffees for longer than usual and will often blend several days’ worth of pickings over a 3-5 day period. Everyday freshly picked cherry is pulped and added to the mix, which lowers the pH level and – along with the cooler temperatures – allows for an extended fermentation process.