From La Esperanza Farm to Meanwood Valley Urban Farm

Our lovely espresso machine is unwell, so she’s taking the weekend off. Although this is sad news it has given us the opportunity to showcase some of tastiest coffee we’ve ever tasted from Colombia. It’s the first coffee we’ve ever tasted from the Quindio region and its gorgeous!

Here’s a little info from the importer: Raw Materials.

Quindío is a small region in the Western highlands of the Central Cordillera, one of the three principal mountain ranges that run through Colombia and converge at its southern tip to create the Andean Massif at the Ecuadorean border.

The first settlers in the Salento region arrived in the 1890s from Tolima. Many were radical liberal guerrillas, fleeing reprisals from the governing conservative regime and the civil disorder that culminated in the Thousand Day War. These days, it is only a 45-minute drive from Armenia to this spot, however, for the first 36 years of its existence, Salento had no road access. Instead, there was a mountain path to Calarcá that took two days to transit by mule.

We have been working with Norbey for the last two years; his impeccable attention to detail and consistency with post harvest processing has made his coffees routinely stand out. This selection was harvested in March, after pulping and fermentation it was dried for 20 days on African style raised beds. This drying technique ensures an even airflow around all aspects of the resting parchment and is key in avoiding any mold or ferment, the depth to this coffee no doubt comes from this technique.

Back to us, on our simplified spectrum of coffee here's where we place this single origin.

This origin has been roasted in Leeds by a little micro-roastery called Shiloh.

Goodbye India Bibi

This weekend we said goodbye to India Bibi Plantation as our single-origin espresso. At The Barn Coffee Shop we like to serve coffees from individual farms or locations so that we can appreciated the unique nuances each origin presents in our cup. As lovers of coffee we appreciate the opportunity to really get to know one single-origin at a time as we work with it constantly for over a month at a time.

These past four months we have been primarily serving India Bibi Plantation AA as our main coffee as espresso. Here's a little info about it:

Varietal: Red Catucaí (known locally as HDT)

Process: Fully washed & sun dried on patios 

Altitude: 600-800 metres above sea level 

Owner: Faiz Moosakutty & family 

Town: Sunticoppa

We chose this coffee because of it's 'traditional' characteristics. Being a very low-grown coffee the cherries ripen quickly producing less complex sugars and subtler, earthy taste. Faiz mitigates some of the low-grown effect by growing his coffee in the shade, this helps slow down the rate the cherries ripen, resulting in a slightly sweeter taste, yet still the earthiness of low-grown asia-pacific coffees. On my simplified spectrum of coffee flavour profiles I'd place it here:

India Bibi is imported by one of the UK's biggest specialty importers Mercanta, and so, many of the UK's specialty roasters have roasted his coffee at some point. We first tasted his coffee through Has Bean whose cupping notes 'leather and tobacco' initially were off-putting. Once tasted we discovered that it had an amazing body, perfect for an espresso that cuts through milk. More recently Green Hood one of our favourite coffee shops in Nottingham have served it as their resident second espresso option. Many hours were spent at Green Hood while preparing for our opening last May, so to pick India Bibi as our first espresso felt natural.

Along with his care for quality and environment, Faiz, really looks after his farmers, 50% of whom live on site with free electricity, housing and medical care. Faiz himself comments "it's a big responsibility - like looking after a family of 100 people!". Why the name Bibi? It's named after his mother. The farm has been part of his family since 1960, although its an old farm, Faiz has overseen the replanting of the entire estate since 1990.

This coffee was roasted in locally in East Leeds by Cielo Coffee Roasters