Colombia Piendamo Cauca
Juicy kiwi, crisp cola, silky base
Farm: Piendamo Cauca
Varieties: Castillo and Colombia
Elevation: 5400 to 6100 feet
Process: washed, sun dried
Tasting Notes: juicy kiwi, crisp cola, silky base
Perched on the northwest tip of South America and sharing a boarder with Panama to the north, Colombia produces coffees which can often combine the more delicate, light, and lively qualities of Central American coffees with the deeper, thicker character of coffees from its neighbors to the south. This lot from Piendamo Cauca is such a coffee, with an impressive balance of interesting flavors and unique acidity floating atop a solid, silky base.
Piendamo is grown in the plateau province (Popayan) of the southwestern state of Cauca on the high plain between the western and central ranges of the Andes. One of four coffee growing provinces of Cauca, Popayan benefits from rich volcanic soil courtesy of the neighboring Purace volcano, and from the stable climate afforded by its high altitude and proximity to the equator. The province is known for the small size of its coffee farms, the variety of indigenous groups engaged in coffee production, and the two rainy seasons that allow a main crop and a fly crop to keep coffee in almost constant supply from April through January.
The small producers around Piendamo take their hand-picked coffee cherries to the local washing station where they are placed in water tanks to remove floaters for consistency before being machine pulped and left to rest to allow fermentation to break down the remaining mucilage. The beans are then washed and placed in the open sun to dry.
Piendamo Cauca presents an ever-evolving cocktail of juicy fruit aromas and crisp liveliness upon cupping, keeping the drinker’s interest as those components interact and evolve. Kiwi and subtle strawberry are buoyed by a silky mouthfeel and highlighted by cola-like maltiness in both the acidity and the aromatics. Along with cola, herbal notes of birch appear, suggesting a blend of various sodas from a soda fountain, macabrely referred to as a “graveyard.” Toward the finish, the mild fruit flavors seem to give way to a mouth-coating sweetness recalling candy-corn. Above all, one is left with the impression of a supremely balanced cup that impresses in all three categories—body, acidity, and aroma.