It's back and better than ever! Here we go with some more fruit bombs and fermentations from one of our favorite farms: La Cristalina. We think it tastes like Squidgy Strawberries and Raspberry Framboise just like last year, but even more sweet and juicy. Seriously. It's straight juice.
We sourced this coffee with our friends at Ally Coffee, who have a history of elevating the profile of coffee farmers in Colombia, and thus raising the amount they can charge for their green coffee.
La Cristalina is located in Vereda Bajo Español, in the municipality of Chinchina. Its 21 hectares reach between 1460 and 1790 meters above sea level, with 4.1 hectares dedicated to an environmental reserve. The three Valdes family farms—Parana, La Cristalina, and San Pablo—are highly sophisticated properties, with admirable levels of production thanks to their combined total of 421,000 trees, 142,000 of which grow on Finca La Cristalina. Each year portions of the farm are replanted, always keeping in mind biodiversity and the environment. Coffee is washed and de-pulped at the ecological mill, where the pulp is placed in a compost treatment to be converted to organic fertilizer for the coffee trees.
Coffee cultivation complements a system of regulated shade with tree species, including walnut, red cedar, and guava, which create habitats for many species of birds. Finca Cristalina plants black cedar, a tree at risk for extinction, from its own nursery in the coffee fields. The forests on the farms are a source of natural richness, creating habitats for many birds and animals.
Parana is the oldest of the three farms and has been in the family for more than one hundred years, today belonging to the fourth generation. Silvio Valdes was the original owner, and upon his death, his property was left to his five children, some of whom sold their portions. But, beginning in 1960, the sold portions were re-purchased and by 1999 the full family legacy had been recuperated. In 2006, to continue the coffee-growing tradition, San Pablo and La Cristalina were added to Parana.
Producer Luis Jose Valdes carries on the family tradition with Café Cuatro Generaciones, the umbrella company for the three farms and the mill at La Cristalina. The name references the four generations of his family that have been involved in coffee production. The post-harvest registration system on the farm permits full traceability of each lot.
Natural processed coffees from La Cristalina are fermented in cherry for 18 hours and dried on raised beds for 20 days.