Origin : Colombia
Farm : El Diviso
Varietal : Bourbon Aji
Altitude : 1950 MASL
Certification : Micro-Lot
Process : Anaerobic Thermal Shock
Cup Score : 89
Raspberry Sorbet, Passionfruit & Mango
A wonderful example of modern coffee.
Nestor Lasso is renowned for his experimental multi-stage processing & meticulous cultivation of a range of varietals.
This exciting and very recently discovered variety, Bourbon Aji - is named after the aji chilli pepper due to its distinctive, mild pepper-like flavour characteristics.
Further genetic testing has indicated that it is not directly descended from the classic bourbon but rather a variety of Ethiopian origin.
“People here have realised that coffee is a much more noble product than it seems, the specialty coffee craze has really brought about a different way of looking at coffee”.
5 years ago, Nestor Lasso and his brother Adrian took over the family farm and branched out into specialty coffee and experimentation rather than growing coffee like their parents.
Today, at 22 and 24, the two brothers have teamed up with Jhoan Vergara, also the child of a coffee farmer, to create El Diviso. El Diviso brings together the two-family farms, El Diviso (Nestor and Adrian Lasso) and Las Flores (Jhoan Vergara), close to the town of Pitalito, in the Huila region of Colombia.
Cat and Pierre, founders of CATA Export and the 3 producers then started a journey of trial and error to define the fermentation processes and protocols at the farm, with the aim to link these coffees directly to the UK market.
This learning process has been time consuming and
costly, but with an exciting outcome as today these coffees have been used in many barista competitions across Europe. Recently winning 1st place at Brewers Cup in Ireland and 3rd in Austria.
Now Cata Export and Finca El Diviso work as one team. Nestor and Cat’s friendship showcases what Cata Export can do; working directly from the farms is a very enriching process for knowledge on complex topics such as agronomy but also for the relationships Cata builds which ultimately translate into an economic benefit for Cata’s community. As a result of this, many more young producers like Nestor have stayed in coffee and have had the chance to build a career.
I grew up in a vereda, called Normandia, near the town of Pitalito in the south of the Huila region. I always grew up on the farm and since I can remember the region has always been a coffee zone.
In general, being a coffee producer is poorly paid and it is not very attractive. The only thing that allows producers not to starve is to eat the fruits and vegetables produced on the farm. In terms of material goods, we only have access to what is strictly necessary. Many young people therefore prefer to go to town to find an office job or a less physically demanding job because they think that the coffee is not worth it.
Beyond what specialty coffee brings economically, I have always had a passion for production. When I realized that specialty coffee offered a real possibility of economic development, and that in addition I could develop my knowledge of coffee production, and in particular the processes, I really got into it.
Cat told me the importance of the sensory side of the business and she encouraged me to learn to cup to control the quality of what is produced and to understand the impact of the processes and whether they improve or not in the cup.
I have seen that specialty coffee consumption has changed a lot in recent years in the country. Until recently, Colombians only drank coffee by-products, anything that could not be exported. Many producers today keep part of their harvest to roast it themselves and drink it at home.
STEP 1 - HAND SELECTION OF THE RIPEST CHERRIES
STEP 2 - DENSITY SELECTION OF CHERRIES BY PUTTING THEM IN WATER AND REMOVING THE ONES THAT FLOAT
STEP 3 - ANAEROBIC PROCESS IN A SEALED PLASTIC BAG FOR 24-32 HOURS AT A CONTROLLED TEMPERATURE OF 16°-17°
STEP 4 - THE CHERRIES ARE PULPED AND LEFT TO TO OXIDATE FOR 6 HOURS DURING WHICH THE COFFEE MUST (JUICE OR EXTRACT PRODUCED DURING THE OXIDATION) IS HARVESTED
STEP 5 - THE COFFEE IS FERMENTED AGAIN IN SEALED TANKS WITH THE HARVESTED MUST FOR 28-32 HOURS (SECOND ANAEROBIC PROCESS)
STEP 7 - THE BEANS ARE WASHED WITH HOT WATER TO REMOVE MUCILAGE AND THEN WITH COLD WATER TO STOP THE FERMENTATION PROCESS (THERMAL SHOCK)
STEP 8 - THE BEANS ARE PUT TO DRYING IN MARQUESINAS FOR 16-25 DAYS DEPENDING ON THE WEATHER