Colombia Cerro Azul Gesha - SOLD OUT
Cerro Azul was one of the first farms in Colombia to cultivate the famed Gesha variety. Now it is nearly commonplace, as farmers are vying for higher cup scores and the high prices they fetch, but Café Granja La Esperanza was one of the first to lead the charge. Their story begins in Valle de Cauca when in 1945, a man named Juan Antonio Herrera decided to plant more varieties alongside his Typica. Much like today, producing coffee was a family affair, and Juan Antonio and his eleven children focused on producing coffee on the Potosí farm. Two children, in particular, had a keen focus on coffee production and decided to take the coffee in a new direction. The two farms of Potosí and the newly acquired La Esperanza were converted to organic production in the late ’90s.
In 2007, Rigoberto had the opportunity to manage a farm in the famed coffee region of Boquete, Panama. The Gesha variety from his farm La Carleida won the Best of Panama a year later. Don Rigoberto made the choice to bring Gesha seed back from Panama to plant at La Esperanza, ushering in a new chapter for Colombian coffee production. Now Café Granja operates five distinct farms, Cerro Azul, Las Margaritas, La Esperanza, Pososí, and Hawaii. The farm of Cerro Azul is the highest in elevation, and we’ve found that it produces some of the best Geshas in the world. We have selected these coffees for competition year after year. On the cupping table, they are intensely floral, with a complex sweetness. This coffee is expressive, yielding totally different flavor experiences from filter to espresso. The Gesha is processed with Café Granja's proprietary XO process*, which gives the coffee a distinct winey character, while still yielding to the delicate florals of the variety and terroir of the farm.
XO PROCESSED COFFEE
There are not many coffee producers who start with an ideal taste profile and work their way backward to engineer a process to suit it, but the XO process is that. Café Granja wanted to achieve the depth of sweetness of an XO Cognac, with its depth of vanilla and candied fruits. This taste profile is achieved by selectively picking their high grown Gesha varieties on the Cerro Azul farm, then fermenting them for 48-50 hours. This long fermentation generally will bring forth vinegar and ‘ferment’ flavors in the coffee, but they are careful to control the temperature of the fermentation not to impart any heavy-handed fermented flavors. The coffee cherries are fermented in tanks, similar to carbonic maceration in wine, limiting the amount of oxidation that happens in the process. Once the cherries are fermented, they are solar dried for up to 28 days, then rested for three months in parchment to reduce astringency and to allow the ambient moisture to homogenize. The resulting cup of XO process Gesha has a deep sweetness of vanilla and dried fruit, yielding to delicate rose and tropical fruit. This coffee is similar to a natural processed coffee, distinctly citric in acidity, with a balanced slick and coating mouthfeel that will linger for a long time. In short, this process is delicious.
FILTER - Coming soon...
Colombia Cerro Azul Gesha
This is a Relationship Coffee we purchased from Café Granja La Esperanza for the 2020 US Barista Championship and the 2020 US Brewers Cup. This coffee got first and second place, respectively. The XO Gesha lots we purchase from Granja are usually very small and sadly aren’t served past practice and the stage. We purchased 12-kilos of this coffee for $60/lb. We cupped this coffee at a 91. Logistics were a team effort between Onyx Coffee Lab and Café Granja, where we rushed to airfreight it in time for the competitions.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.04/lb when we purchased this coffee.
- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.60/lb when we bought this coffee.
* We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided only to list what is shown here because we don’t know where to stop. Do we list the amount of coffee lost in roasting due to moisture loss? Should we list our roaster Mark's salary? The warehouse rent? The utilities? The point of listing things above is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries. If you have concerns feel free to email us and I’ll write you back when I’m available.
Relationship Coffee is an initiative we, at Onyx, have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Certifications like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and others have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive ways but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms and applying them to a multitude of business models no longer describes what we do.
In reality, every company is different, and we wanted to step out from the mold and create a new set of standards that exceeds in every department from quality to transparency to pricing. The growers, exporters, importers, associations, cooperatives, and other entities are always a set of relationships. To be honest, many are our friends as much as they are our producers and partners. We share information, family news, meals, housing, many faiths, and argue politics. Oh, and we love it. Relationship Coffee for Onyx is the mark of an honest exchange ethos that permeates our company, and we hope it encourages the growth of specialty coffee for the future.
We visited the farm or cupping lab and listened to the producer/agronomist or head cooperative/association to ascertain better knowledge about the culture and practices.
We cupped the coffee, and it scored to our industry-high standards.
We do not buy futures or multiple harvests to ensure that what we cupped for that year is what we serve.
We do not ask for exclusivity from producers, binding their options.
We pay what the coffee is worth. This always is at least double Fair Trade minimum due to the quality we buy, and many times is three to ten times the amount.
We do not finance any coffee. Cash flow is just as important as final price. Coffee is paid in full upon delivery, and we pay a percentage up front upon contracting.
We are completely transparent from price to logistics to cupping score, to who we work with buying and shipping coffee.
We work to set premiums after a contracted price to incentivize quality and community building. This can be .10¢ - .25¢ extra per pound or community projects such as school supplies in the growing village, sports jerseys, vented chimneys for kitchen fires, etc.