In December 2012, we began selling a great new coffee: Colombia Villa Maria Caldas Supremo. When it’s clear that a coffee is so extraordinary that it’s worth offering it to our customers, I begin to investigate the coffee plantation and learn everything possible about the coffee. There are so many variables that are involved in the flavor of the coffee beyond the country origin or continent. It’s impossible to accurately explain every variable, but here are a few reasons why it’s important to know where your coffee comes from.
1. The word Terroir is well-known among wine connoisseurs to describe the region, the soil, the altitude, and climate in which the wine is grown. This Colombian Coffee is grown in Villa Maria, Caldas, Colombia. The farm, Estate La Meseta, is well known for its good farming practices.
2. When you see the word, Supremo, you might think, “Hey, this coffee must be SUPREME.” It may be, but supremo really tells us the size of the beans. Our Colombia Medellin Excelso is another example of bean size. Supremo is the largest of the beans except for a natural mutation called Maragogype, also called Elephant beans. Excelso is the next size of beans. Specialty coffee beans are separated according to their size because each size bean will have different flavor profiles. In order to retain consistency, it’s important to have a bag of coffee with the same screen size. Often the larger beans have greater complexity, but it’s important to not judge a bean by its size only. There are a plethora of variables that go into an awesome cup of coffee.
3. The Altitude:
This special coffee is grown over 3300 ft. above sea level. Coffee grown at higher levels are denser beans that often have greater complexity, acidity, and exhibits floral and fruity notes. Denser beans that are often characterized as SHB (semi-hard beans) or SHG (strictly high grown), can be stored longer and retain their flavor characteristics longer.
4. The coffee varietal:
Each coffee cultivar (varietal) has different flavor profiles. Some popular cultivars are bourbon (pronounced boo-rbon (with a french pronunciation of the “on”), caturra, and typica. Bourbon, sometimes called Yellow Bourbon, is planted all around the world- in Brazil, Rwanda, and Indonesia. The different cultivars, the different altitude, and different soil quality will all contribute to the quality of the cup. There are problems with monoculture- when the same cultivar is planted in the same field. Monoculture invites coffee pests that find one tree interesting and then destroy the entire crop. Below is the family tree of the Colombia Villa Maria Caldas!
The Colombia Villa Maria Caldas Supremo is one of my all-time favorite coffees. With notes of peanut butter, chocolate, and almonds the mouthfeel will remind you of peanut butter because it seems to stick to the roof of your mouth. It’s best brewed in a French Press or drip.