Best of Huila Colombia Limted Release
- April 2018
- Written by : Geoff Watts
Vice President of Coffee / Green Coffee Buyer
Best of Huila
Huila is one of 19 states that grow coffee in Colombia. It is located in the far southwest of the country, and home to over 100,000 farmers who collectively produce nearly one-fifth of Colombia’s coffee. More importantly, it is the region that also produces the highest proportion of specialty coffee. Huila’s reputation for exceptional quality was cemented in the past decade as it dominated the prestigious Cup of Excellence competition and earned a hard-core following worldwide. Today Huila continues to be recognized as the most prolific maker of gorgeous coffees in a nation known for being one of the top quality producers in the world.
But outside of coffee, Huila is known for more mystical reasons: it is a place of massive natural convergence. In the south of Huila the three principal mountain ranges of the Colombian Andes converge and join together to connect with the rest of the Andes in an area known as the Colombian Massif, which also is home to the headwaters of the giant Magdalena River and is the origin of the country’s most important waterways. People who lived in the region in ancient times considered it a place of special power and significance that was both a destination for pilgrims and burial place believed to connect the spiritual world with the earthly one. It is the home to South America’s largest collection of religious monuments and megalithic structures, some dating back to 3000 BC.
Looking around at the landscapes in Huila, it is not surprising that some truly stunning coffees are born here. While much of the Colombian coffee landscape has been transitioned to full-sun farming systems over the past 30 years, the south of Huila is still full of partial shade farms and well-preserved forest. Throw in a dose of mystical earth power and you’ve got a basis for otherworldly coffee production. It is in this context that a group of roasters from several countries came together in January to participate in a small competition organized to celebrate the Best of Huila. Thirty coffees, selected from a pool of over 100, were cupped during the week. All were good, but some were better than others.
The Magnificent Seven
Fausto Lasso. Nelson Adrian Muñoz. Blanca Alicia Gomez. Jose Alberto Diaz. Carlos Moncayo. Robiro Muñoz. Damian Bolaños. These are the names of the farmers whose coffees we liked most, and whose extraordinary dedication to preserving nature’s intrinsic potential has allowed these coffees to express their inner beauty. Their hard work to control details during all stages of coffee’s production—from planting to picking, through fermentation, drying, selection and storage—has resulted in some coffees of exceptional taste and elegance, bursting with flavor and sweetness. All of them are very deserving of your attention, and this release is a tribute to their individual efforts.
Over the next two months we’ll be releasing them in quick succession. The quantities are very small, and some will be gone in less than a week.
If you are a Colombian coffee fanatic, or just want to impress your friends, this is your chance to indulge. They are the Best of Huila: the best coffees from the most exciting coffee growing region in one of the best coffee-growing countries in the world.