The Roasting Shed: Alto Redondo (Huila, Colombia)
Roast: Medium light
Body: Light, silky
Acidity: Medium high
Notes: Orange, butterscotch
Aroma: Cacao nib, molasses
Alto Redondo, nestled in the foothills of the Colombian Andes in Southeast Huila, is your quintessential Latin American agricultural town. Sitting around 1700 meters in the upper valleys of the Magdalena river, the town boasts some of the most fertile volcanic soil in the continent. A thirty-year veteran of the coffee industry, Alfredo Santillana designed this micro-lot with processing methods that have proven to be eccentric, as well as effective. Combining twenty hours of in-tank fermentation with a month of patio sun-drying, this Caturra varietal presents a natural sweetness and citrus that is truly exceptional, even for a Colombian.
This coffee is a great representation of the benefits of extensive cupping, bold roasting, and selective sourcing. Imported from French-Colombian collaborative specialty coffee venture The Beans on Fire, this coffee hits all of the best notes along the entire production process, from seed to cup. I'm no expert on the nuances of green coffee processing, but it is certainly evident that Santillana's methods have made a huge impact on this crop. Everything in this coffee seems magnified, from flavor to aroma. It has an acidity that may even be too bold for some. From the first sip, this coffee projects sharp, distinct citrus, backed by nutty cedar notes. The end of the palate detects dark chocolate, as well as hints of butterscotch or caramel. The coffee maintains a clean, smooth body that amply supports its dynamic flavor profile.
Thanks for reading this week's coffee review; I had a really fun time covering this week's featured roaster, the Roasting Shed. Aside the fact that they run their coffee operation out of a small shed in East London, Neil and Ricardo have one of the world's most literal 'small-batch' specialty roasteries. Take it from them: life is too short to drink bad coffee. Check out their website and new coffees at theroastingshed.com!