Colombia Eduardo Lizcano
Finca Guatavita is a farmed owned by Eduardo Lizcano in the La Plata Municipality of Huila, Colombia. It’s currently part of an association called Aprocoagrosh. He named the farm after a small town in Colombia north of Bogota in San Francisco Alto. I visited Eduardo in 2015 but didn’t contract his coffee at the time. We did buy from quite a few La Plata associations but didn’t get a chance to cup his coffee while I was in the area. This year's harvest was purchased by our friend Camilo at Royal NY through Pergamino, a Colombian coffee exporter. I have bought and traveled with Camilo in the past and he saved this specific lot for us. Onyx continually buys from the La Plata region because most of the growers their still produce Caturra and Bourbon varieties instead of newer hybrid varietals that produce a high volume but an inferior cup (in my opinion).
COFFEE ASSOCIATIONS, COOPERATIVES AND PRODUCERS:
As I mentioned, this coffee comes from the Aprocoagrosh Association in La Plata. This can be a bit confusing when discussing the differences between associations and cooperatives. The goal of both is to benefit farmers by grouping many growers together to represent a region of coffee. This results in the possibility of more selling power and volume benefits. Also this can come with milling and logistics help when negotiating with mills. The main difference them is the size and the management.
Associations are usually much smaller and do not have paid employees. This means if 50-100 producers are in an association, the “management” of the coffee and the representative of the association is a volunteer and usually the decisions are very democratic. This can obstruct certain decisions though when something needs to happen fast, however all the money collected goes to the producers.
Cooperatives on the other hand can have one hundred to thousands of farmers. Usually larger lots are blended and micro-lots are singled out. Representatives are elected and are paid a salary to run the cooperative and argue/sell on their behalf. They can almost act as an agent. The heads of the cooperative also distribute funds after cash is collected. This can sometimes be a corrupt point in the chain depending on who you talk to. Over-all we find that both do a pretty good job, but at the end of the day we aren’t the producer. You will see us work with quite a few associations in Colombia especially in San Antonio, La Plata, and Valle de Cauca.
We really enjoy this coffee on a Clever Coffee Dripper. It can retain the slickness of the mouthfeel while accentuating the green apple acidity. Try 26g of medium-course ground coffee to 400 grams of water. Bloom for 30 seconds with 60g of water, then pour the rest quickly. Place the lid on the dripper and set a timer for 3 minutes. Then drain with the lid off and enjoy!
Colombia Eduardo Lizcano
Our friend Camilo at Royal NY sent us this coffee. We paid $3.57/lb for the coffee green and we cupped it as an 87. We bought fifteen 70 kg bags of green coffee.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.37/lb when we purchased this coffee.
- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.60/lb when we purchased this coffee.
* We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided to only list what is shown 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.
**Direct trade for us means we visited, viewed the operation, approved of the ethics and treatment of staff. It also means, we cupped the coffees and they scored to our standards. Then we paid what the coffee was worth, which is always at least double Fair Trade price and usually even more. We then add a premium on top of the price to go towards social projects in the area or give back some how to the community at large to help cultivate a real relationship with the producer and region. It’s not a certification. There is no governing body that decides when something is direct. Direct trade is marketing, and it means something different for all companies, it is widely abused as well as applauded. We can only say what direct trade means to us.