What a fan favourite this coffee is, and one of our longest-standing relationships to boot! It's no surprise considering the story of the Inga people, which you can read more about below. This year is the best-ever production in our humble opinion, and Micah has been cupping this coffee for getting close to a decade now! We bought loads this year, so drink up and expect notes of Summer Strawberry, Lemon, and Floral Honey. Truly a beautiful coffee in every sense.
We think this is a prime example of our ethos of redistributive trade... We make a much smaller margin on this coffee than on most. This is partly because Micah and the rest of the team at Ally helped popularise the Aponte Honey to the point where their green coffee is highly desirable and therefore highly-priced. We spent £8.88/kg on it, and for a community-produced Colombian lot, that was fairly pricey. We think that's how it should be though! One of our main goals is to make less and less margin over time as farmers make more and more.
The Ingas of Aponte are comprised of descendants of the ancient, pre-hispanic Incas. During the conquest period, they remained isolated high in the mountains that became their natural refuge. This community did not resume significant contact with the rest of Colombia until the second half of the nineteenth century. Unfortunately, in the 1990s, this contact was mostly criminal, and the Ingas’ refuge became a place of cruelty. For years the tribe was forcibly involved in poppy and heroin production under the influence of guerrilla groups, drug traffickers, and paramilitaries. The once-peaceful mountains teemed with illegal plantations and violence, in which the Ingas were trapped until as recently as fifteen years ago.
In the last decade the mountains have become a safe zone for the Inga tribe, and illegal crops were eradicated to give way to a new culture: coffee! The Caturra variety has been planted in the Inga territory, on smallholder properties in the Resguardo Inga Aponte, at an average of 2,150 meters above sea level. This elevation, combined with the Galeras Volcano constantly shedding nutrient-rich ash, makes for an exceptionally complex and sweet coffee.
Producers process coffee on their own properties, drying honey-processed coffee in stacked raised bed solar dryers on their farms. This process reduces water used for washing coffee and complements the natural complexity of coffees from this special region.