So, we just couldn’t end this coffee event without sharing Pink Bourbon from our unofficial masters of Pink Bourbon.
With the stellar line up of coffees we’ve shared over the last 23 days it would be wrong of us to say that we’ve saved the best to last, but we can say that Pink Bourbon holds a special place in our heart. While some people go crazy for Geisha (Gesha), Pink Bourbon is where its at for us. We’ve found it impossible to pass up this varietal from Viking, with some of our customers having referenced one previous lot we served as “having ruined coffee for me for life” because the coffee was that good. Aeropress with a side of Strawberry jam? Nothing short of incredible.
We think that it just pings when brewed with the Aeropress bringing out a certain tart like acidity.
(Words by Cofinet) Rafael Amaya is farmer from Pitalito in Huila. For most of his life, Rafael worked in a coffee farm in Timana, Huila. He worked as a picker and also assisted with the processing of coffees from other farms. In 2000, he was lucky enough to buy his first farm. Rafael has been growing coffee since then, although it wasn’t until 2015 when he shifted his focus to the production of Specialty Coffee.
In 2005, Rafael started attending coffee courses on the processing of Specialty Coffee in an effort to improve his knowledge and understanding in this area. In 2011, Rafael enrolled in SENA coffee school to further his knowledge in the production of high quality lots. Then in 2012, Rafael followed his teacher’s advice and started experimenting with longer fermentation of 40 hours.
Normally in Colombia, producers will aim for a fermentation time of around 14-16 hours so this is a significant change in approach. After tasting his coffees that were fermented for 40 hours, Rafael wanted to explore even longer fermentation times to highlight extreme fruit flavours and complexity in the cup. Rafael then experimented with fermentations of between 130-180 hours. He determines when to stop fermentation by tasting the mucilage, he says “When the mucilage tastes like over ripe orange, this is the time to stop. This usually happens around 20 hours after the mucilage has started to taste like passionfruit”. In 2016, Rafael developed his own formula for fermenting Washed coffees to obtain an 88 point cup score. Today, his lots are fermented between 60-130 hours without using water (dry anaerobic fermentation) and inside grain pros.
Rafael processes the majority of his lots as Washed. This is because his drying space is quite limited and large drying areas are needed to process Natural lots successfully. His selects only the best quality cherries to be processed as Naturals to receive maximum reward for the additional effort required to process coffees this way. When drying his coffees, Rafael uses a combination of concrete patios and raised beds under shade. Rafael has started mentoring a
collection of growers from around his farm and sharing the knowledge he has gained throughout his many years working in coffee. He encourages his students to extend their fermentation and drying times as much as possible. Rafael believes this is the key to achieving unique qualities in coffee and enables such lots to be sold as microlots on the specialty market.
From our perspective at Cofinet, Rafael is producing some of the best coffees in Colombia. We view his Caturra lots as comparable with Gesha and other exotic varietal because these coffees are extremely fruity and complex but with clean finish. Rafael is now growing a selection of exotic lots such as Pink Bourbon, Sidra, Pacamara, and Gesha. We are proud to be working with Rafael and excited for what is to come.
If Rafael sounds familiar to you, that's because feature #15 in February 2020 featured one of his Yellow Bourbon lots!
Farm: Finca La Virginia
Varietal/Species: Pink Bourbon
Process: Lactic Natural
Roast Profile: Filter
Flavours: Blackberry, Cocoa and Red Wine
Grab yourself a bag here.