Jhoan VergaraRegular price $26.00
Around for a good time not a long time. Bright pineapple and strawberry fill the cup here.
Pink Bourbon is a variety that hits all the right flavor receptors for us. If you trace the lineage of this variety back, it will lead you to native landraces in Ethiopia. Like Ethiopian varietals, Pink Bourbon shows incredible florality and a consistent pink-fruit quality.
When we buy coffee from small producers we often use an importing partner. These are people that are familiar with the intricacies of trading coffee at origin and have developed more sustainable networks within the remote growing regions that we seek access to. It’s all good and well to claim you buy coffee directly but sometimes it’s more appropriate to engage a third party to navigate the needs of producers and make sure the trade is beneficial for all.
An additional benefit for us is that these importing partners quickly become familiar with profiles and qualities that we prefer and will seek them out during their travels.
We have been working closely with Shared Source for almost 5 years now and this coffee is one that they held aside with Black Fox in mind - it was so delicious we ended up purchasing the entire lot.
Now let’s talk about this unique and staggeringly delicious coffee.
Jhoan Vergara (pronounced “J-On”) is a relatively young producer who has taken a particular interest in the micro-organisms found in coffee. At 15 years old, Jhoan left high school in Pitalito and decided to focus on his family farm, Las Flores. He went on to study at SENA - the Service Nacional de Aprendizaje - where coffee producers learn agronomy, cupping, roasting, and basic brewing skills.
Up until 2008, Las Flores grew the Caturra variety exclusively. Unfortunately they were struck hard by Coffee Roya (Coffee Leaf Rust) and they had to look to disease resistant, higher yielding varieties to recover.
One of the varieties that the Vergara family continued to plant was Pink Bourbon.
These days, Jhoan works with a microbiology lab in Pitalito, separating microorganisms from each variety of coffee cherry to reproduce them. Jhoan takes these microorganisms and reapplies them to the coffee mass during fermentation to encourage their growth and focus in on particular flavors that are naturally occurring in the fruit.
The result is a hyper-focused and incredibly clean pink bourbon that showcases bright tropical fruits and retains crisp, refined acidity.
For those processing nerds out there we thought we would share exactly what goes on with this coffee before it is prepared for export but be prepared because it’s pretty involved!
First, cherries are picked, and left in an open weave bag (tulas) for an initial cherry ferment (or oxidation process) - the mass gets hotter during this process, and cherries are left for 24-48 hours depending on the weather and the brix. From there, the cherries are floated to homogenize the temperature again, and then de-pulped, fermenting them in sealed plastic bags. Jhoan adds the microorganisms into the coffee at this phase. Finally, he washes the coffee with hot water - a ‘thermal shock’ of sorts - which Jhoan says can lend more intensity to the cup profile, boosting it 1-2 points higher. From there, Jhoan takes the coffee down to a dehumidifying machine that his friends Adrian and Nestor Lasso manage down in Bruselas, Huila to dry it out and prepare it for export.
This coffee blew us away on the cupping table. If you are lucky enough to secure a bag and brew it at home you will notice clean pineapple notes with ripe raspberry undertones and a candied sugar finish. This is the clean but fruit-forward coffee you’ve been looking for. We would even go as far as to say this could be competition worthy.
Producer → Jhoan Vergara
Farm → Las Flores
Location → San Isidro, Huila, Colombia
Altitude → 1,650 masl
Varieties → Pink Bourbon
Process → Washed (Thermal Shock)