El Fenix Natural Pink Bourbon Colombia
ABOUT THE COFFEE:
Tasting Notes: Watermelon, Peach, Wild berries
Variety: Pink Bourbon
Region: Quindío, Colombia
Altitude: 1,800 MASL
Process: Washed (Read about processing methods here)
El Fenix is an organic rare-variety coffee forest and post-harvest lab. A space for experimenting and gathering data first-hand on new practical farming. Techniques, adaptation to organic production, and selective breeding programs. To host farm management and cupping courses for producers and roasters, and to gain roasters’ attention.
El Fenix is owned by Raw Material Coffee, who’s goal is to maximise profits for coffee producers and work to improve household incomes, outcomes for women, and to encourage a shift towards more environmentally sustainable farming practices. El Fenix is a central meeting point in Quindio, Colombia and Raw Material designed El Fénix with the long-term vision of three distinct, complementary, supporting businesses sharing one space (the coffee farm, the harvesting lab and the community wet mill).
El Fénix farm is located in the eastern municipality of Quindío, Colombia in Calarcá. It faces west toward the Cauca Valley and the central mountain range. The farm has ideal climate conditions with a strong sun reflection off the valley and an average rainfall of 2,275mm a year, in addition to natural spring falls which provide water for the farm’s needs.
There is a general rule of thumb that is followed for each variety at the farm. Each coffee must be collected with a tolerance of 5% underripe beans. Once the daily harvest is complete, the coffee is floated right away. Each batch is stirred at least 3 times a day to ensure that any underripe beans have a chance to float to the surface and be separated from the high-density coffee.
The floating process occurs in a serpentine, to ensure that all beans have the chance to be buoyant, and the coffee correctly sorted by density. Collected rain water is used in the channels, which is reused until it reaches a pH of 5.5. To begin each processing method, all cherries are fermented under a water seal for 24 hours. This ensures a sealed fermentation from contact with air and organisms, and a controlled temperature that sits between 19 to 21 degrees celsius.
Once the cherries have fermented for 24 hours, the coffee is transported to a drying bed. These sit in closed greenhouses, where coffee is layered in sheets of 12 kg per 2m² for 5 days. The coffee is turned at least 3 times a day, though weather depending, this may increase to 6 times a day. This is to ensure a uniform initial drying, as air humidity levels may fluctuate.
Once the coffee reaches 21% humidity, it is taken to the mechanical dryer. Here, it takes around 4 to 5 days to finalise the drying process, which is complete at 10% humidity. The temperature in the mechanical dryer oscillates between 30 to 35 degrees celsius.
Community Wet Mill
As well as being a rare variety producing farm, El Fénix is also home to a developing community wet mill for producers in the area. The project was crowdfunded to help fund the construction of the mill, which when complete will provide the region’s farmers with greater control over their coffee quality, and control over their income through a fixed price payment system. Investment in this kind of accessible infrastructure is one of the necessary steps to make good on the promise of development through trade.
Through purchasing cherries from neighbouring farms rather than parchment, they can ensure quality by controlling processing variables, maximising the potential value of the coffee. A two-payment system helps to stabilise incomes and improve cash flow timing; the first upfront upon delivering cherry (3-6 weeks earlier than first parchment payments), and a second upon export.
The first payment is the equivalent of COP 1,000,000/carga parchment (or $350 AUD), the second payment fund is made upon export, and dependent on the price roasters are willing to pay; if roasters are willing to pay more, that difference/kg flows straight through to the producers in the neighbourhood in the second payment.
The coffee is fruity, has great body and notes of peach, apricot, blueberry and chocolate.
* Please note that our shipping times will depend on when the coffee is roasted during the week to ensure we always send out coffee at it's freshest. If your order contains items as well as coffee beans, we will reserve your order until the coffee is ready to be dispatched. (You will receive order updates via email)