For the second time this year, Finca El Oasis has been in our top Colombian coffees. We had a blind table of ( I know it is many) 19 coffees and El Oasis shone. The number one coffee had gone to Japan by the time I had found out what it was… and fear not, it will be here next harvest, if the cup quality is close. Due to the fact that we are a small company we don’t buy whole boxes of coffee from every corner of the globe. In our little way, we try and buy the best coffees that we can that stand up for a number of reasons. Oasis is bought to us by a couple who have lived in Gaitania and wanted to share something special. In return for paying a fair amount, many of the producers are then paid a post-delivery premium again when we have purchased the coffee. This isn’t direct trade, as such, but we get some top coffees and some small producers get some recognition.
The definition of this cup in one word is “balance”. It is a beautiful thing. Long gone are the days when people come in and ask for “A nice Colombian” expecting a nutty defective, over roasted supermarket delight.
Farm El Oasis
Family Luz Mila Gonzales
Assoc. ASCISP You can find more about the association here.
Province Gaitania, Tolima
Hamlet El Jordon
Altitude 1735 Meters above sea level
Variety Caturra, Colombia, Typica
Process: Fermentation 36 hrs. 12 hours cherries 24 hrs Parchment, Sun-dried
Harvest July – Nov
Cup potential: Aromatically Oasis has a sweet apple note with a hint of tropical fruit. When the coffee is hot and the body light-to ethereal, the brain (well mine anyway) goes searching, trying to match aromatics with flavour compounds. Initially, I got bags of brown sugars and red apple. On cooling, lemon curd turns into sweet grapefruit and the delicate sweet acidity has a little ripeness to it that is borderline tropical meets maple syrup.
Recipe: 60g a litre and up.
Luz Mila is a passionate lady, dedicated to producing consistently delicious coffee. The association (ASCISP) has been set up to ensure small producers are getting rewarded fairly for their labours. In previous harvests, these coffees would just have been absorbed by the Federation and lost in a sea of volume and average quality at below-average prices.
In the coffee world, we are hearing a lot about different forms of fermentation and maceration too. There is an interesting article here. The reality is that slow fermentation and drying has been done instinctively by farmers for as long as coffee has been processed. There is, of course, instinctive or traditional processing, versus the experimental. The former tends to give a more consistent and truer outcome, but that’s just my opinion.