Nariño is located in the extreme southwest of Colombia on the border with Ecuador and is generally one of the most challenging, but also interesting places to work. There is extremely high altitude, coffee at up to 2080 metres, very steep slopes and mainly super small farms in very remote areas. We work with exporters and cooperatives that have coffee programmes that target specific areas, groups or producers and invest in quality production.
In the case of this coffee, Chachagui Collective, the coffee is a mix of many small producers. This is because the individual producers do not have enough volume to produce large quantities themselves, but the different components in this blend have been cupped and carefully selected.
As with all the coffees and projects we do in Colombia, we pay high premiums based on the assessments and above the daily coffee prices set by the FNC. All our coffees must meet our standards for moisture content below 11% and a score above 86. We are on the ground every year visiting producers and exporters to better monitor the supply chain.
Unlike other regions in Colombia, it can be extremely dry here during harvest time and the humidity in the area is low. This, together with the really high altitudes, definitely affects the flavour profiles and makes it different from other Colombian coffees.
Nariño coffee is usually fully washed, i.e. de-pulped and fermented in the traditional way. There are a few exceptions where farmers use eco-pulpers with mechanical removal of the mucilage and/or use honey, but this is still not very common.