If there's one country that did an amazing job aligning themselves with coffee, it's Colombia. Before most of us knew there differences between different coffees, or even where they were grown, we knew Juan Valdez and Colombian coffee. Things have changed quite a bit in the coffee world since those days, but Colombia still produces amazing coffees. This blend from the Association of Agroecological Producers of Balboa (ASPROBALBOA) in the mountains of southwestern Colombia is an exceptional example.
The Association has 144 members. The families of Balboa are smallholder farmers, cultivating on average 8 acres of land split among coffee, fruit trees, beans, vegetables, and panela–or cane sugar. A variety of shade trees protect coffee from full, direct sun and improve soil quality.
In addition to producing great coffee, the Co-Op is also focused on transitioning farmers in the region away from the highly profitable (but illegal) crops of coca and poppy and towards coffee. If this clean, balanced brew is any indication, the farmers are certainly moving in the right direction.
Tasting Notes: Smooth body with nice brightness and notes of citrus and caramel
Facts: Roasted Fresh by Zingerman's Coffee Company. Shipped whole bean.