MAY 0003

MAY 0003

We’re spending another day in South America with a beautiful Caturra grown at very high altitude. The washing station at El Obraje is the first one in this region and stands as a symbol for specialty coffee’s agricultural potential here.
MAY 0003

We are still loving South America and aren't ready to leave!

0003 – Pablo Guerrero, Nariño from Hacienda El Obraje, Roasted by Sweet Bloom

Roaster Sweet Bloom, Lakewood (Denver), Colorado
Roaster Tasting Notes Red Grape, Plum, Caramel
Origin Colombia, Nariño
Elevation 2200 meters
Process Washed

About 0003

Did you miss Colombia already??? Well surprise . . . we are BACK!
This time tasting a washed Caturra out of Nariño region. Let's GO!

Pablo Guerrero with African-style raised beds under a shade cover. Photo from Ally Coffee

This coffee was grown by a man named Pablo Guerrero who we consider a coffee innovator. Pablo pioneered growing specialty coffee in this particular high region of Nariño. When he arrived to Tangua in 1999, the locals (and the Colombia Coffee Federation) didn't believe coffee could be grown in this valley due to its high altitude. At the time, they were growing primarily grains and fruits.

At first, Pablo grew wheat on his land. When the value of cereals were wiped out by imports, he switched to apples. However, the logistics of transporting fresh apples were complex. Then, at last, our tongues could rejoice because Pablo transitioned his farm to coffee! He began growing coffee and treating it the same as wheat – picking everything and selling it without attention to quality.

Eventually Pablo recognized the need to focus on details like fermentation and washing and transitioned to producing specialty coffees. This would require a wet mill! Pablo knew a great guy who had experience as an architect, and turns out it was . . . HIM! He built a beautiful wet mill with fermenting tanks which also served as a symbol of the potential for growing coffee as a viable crop. Turns out this was a great place for coffee agriculture! Despite the high altitude, the volcanic soil and abundance of microclimates allows the coffees to ripen slowly in low temperatures.

2300 meters above sea level is a high but stunning place to grow coffee

Washed coffee still needs to be dried! Hacienda El Obraje has several areas for drying coffee. Because the sun can be quite intense, the metal drying beds are housed under shade in a building designed for optimal air flow. This helps to dry the coffee cherry more slowly resulting in a more nuanced cup. (Many practices in quality specialty coffee are done slowly for this reason.) Multi-level drying beds are used in one building, while a different building has single-level African-style beds specifically for drying microlot and Geisha variety coffees. The patio is used for drying natural (dry) processed cherry.

Who's Sweet Bloom? – The roaster of this coffee was started by multi-coffee competition champion, Andy Sprenger, who worked in specialty coffee for 10 years before returning to Lakewood, Colorado to create Sweet Bloom. His coffee competition trophy shelf includes U.S. Brewers Cup Champion, U.S. AeroPress Champion and runner-up in the U.S. Cup Tasters Championship. Sweet Bloom strives to buy coffees as directly from producers as possible, often returning to the same producers year after year.

Sweet Bloom on Pablo:

We've been purchasing coffee from Pablo Guerrero for a number of years now and are continually impressed with the quality of his lots - no matter how they are processed. This particular selection was processed using the washed method and is pretty delish.  Just after grinding, the aromatics are sweet with a hint of anise.  In the cup, we are tasting red grape and dark fruits like plum all tied up with a sugarcane sweetness.

How'd it taste?

A quote from our tasting session

I got something like caramel & melon. Give it a moment to cool and open up. It’s mellow and easy. A soft sweetness and acidity. Best saved for a soft rainy day.

We noticed a melon-like acidity up front and some red grape sweetness. Caramel really came out as it cooled. Revolver staff gives us notes of black plum, a red apple acidity, & caramel sweetness.

Another contrast with 0002 & 0001 – this coffee sits kinda in the middle, mild & simple, not pushing too far in either direction.

What did you think of today's coffee?

We would love to hear from you! ❤️

Feel free to share with us any comments below and use #coffeechronicles on social media so we can follow along.

👉 👉 Share your feedback on today's coffee

Fan Mail Fam

We continue to love the stuff you guys are sending in!

  • Great thought On 0002 - "Tastes like coffee I'd want first thing in the morning after rolling out of a tent in the Rockies. This is a coffee to sip by a mountain lake, fresh and clean."  - Ellie  
    We love the romance and specificity!
  • Common descriptors you shared from 0002: lychee, After Eight dinner mint, mint mint, like a dessert for breakfast!
  • "I'm hungover but the beans smell strongly of coffee.
    Soundtrack: My dog breathing" - Anon
  • Great photo by Kirixx on Insta

Share your feedback anytime here.

We hope after 3 days of some contrasting coffees you've noticed something new, and maybe, just maybe, you're starting to get better at connecting language with your tasting experience.

Tag your posts with #coffeechronicles

– Coffee Chronicles

Bonus Content

  • Learn more: peep this travel journal from Hacienda El Obraje here
  • Visual learners: a short YouTube video from a 2018 farm visit by Ally Coffee
  • Language: We are digging this Aroma Wheel from Coffee Mind. Great descriptive terms.
  • Breaking news! We just discovered that our boy Pablo won the Colombia Cup of Excellence with a lot of his Geisha coffee. We'd love to grab a bag later this year. The auction will be on May 20.