Having lost her husband to illness 20 years ago, Amparo is a woman of spirit. Not only has she managed to bring up and support five children as a single parent, but she also produces some of the best coffee in the region. Today, two of Amparo’s children are now supporting her, assisting with the day to day management of the farm.
Nariño is located in the southwest of Colombia; just above the equator and on the border with Ecuador. The mountainous region has optimum conditions both in terms of humidity and temperature to keep coffee in parchment for ongoing export shipments, preventing early signs of ageing. Coffee in the region is grown at altitudes that reach 2,200 metres above sea level, some of the highest elevations at which coffee is grown in the world. The high altitude of cultivation allows for the slow development of the coffee bean, which gives the cup profile its unique characteristics.
Amparo has produced this lot using the washed method. After the red and ripe cherries are picked, they are pulped by passing them through a pulper, before being fermented for 24 hours. It is very common in the region for individual farms to pulp and ferment their own cherry, rather than transporting their produce to a centralised hub to be processed.
Producers in the region will add several layers of wet parchment over the course of a few days, which is thought to add complexity to the fermentation process and final cup profile. Finally, once fermented, the coffee is removed and placed on raised parabolic beds to dry, until moisture reaches below 12%.