Farm: 78 Women coffee farmers near Argelia Colombia
Varieties: Castillo, Colombia
Elevation: 1300 to 1500 MASL
This lot comes strictly from Women coffee farmers within ARGCAFEE. There are currently 78 women contributing to this program with another 44 that have communicated intentions to join the program.
ARGCAFEE (Association de Transformadores y Comercializadores de Cafe Especiales de Argelia Cauca) is an association that started in 2014 with only 17 member producers, all of whom were committed to finding a better market for their coffee than the commercial one they were delivering to—both in search of higher prices and a better showcase for the quality of their coffee. As Argelia is relatively remote, it had been hard for the small farmers in the area to reach the marketplace and have leverage in their selling. Through their work, however, the association grew to over 230 members, about 150 of whom are presently active in farming and delivering lots to the association.
Colombia is best-known for its Washed coffees. While the processing details might vary slightly from farm to farm or by association, generally the coffee is picked ripe and depulped the same day, then given an open-air fermentation in tanks or buckets for anywhere between 12–36 hours. The coffee is washed clean of its mucilage before being dried either on patios, in parabolic dryers, solar driers, or mechanically. Some Washed coffees in Colombia are mechanically demucilaged.
Cauca is in central-western Colombia, stretching from the Western Cordillera mountain range to the Pacific Ocean. Ocean winds and elevation result in Cauca being one of the coolest regions of the country. The coffee in this area is grown mostly by indigenous or Afro-descendant communities. Geographically, the region has many features including the Popayan Plateau, many rivers, and the central volcanic mountain range.