The under recognized region of Antioquia moved into the light with two farms making it to this year’s Colombian Cup of Excellence Auction.
Antioquia has long been the little sister of Colombian coffee regions, with its produce being undiscovered by the rest of the world. Flavor profiles are unlike those from the rest of the country, not adhering to ‘classic Colombian’ characteristics, a difference which, at times, has harmed their export potential. This distinction used to be seen not for the beautiful, unique cup it is, but rather as a defect that should not be exported. Thankfully, Antioquian coffee is starting to get the recognition it deserves.
This year’s Colombian Cup of Excellence saw a turn of events with two of the thirteen lots coming from Antioquia: La Falda from the municipality of Urrao and Montero from the village of la Sierra achieved #7 and #11 respectively. Joining forces with three local roasters plus customers from Poland and USA, Mercanta were lucky enough to be able purchase Jose Arcadio Rueda’s La Falda. With some strong contest, this lot managed to achieve the fourth highest price of all thirteen coffee
Born and bought up in Urrao, Anitoquia by coffee producing parents, Jose Arcadio Rueda’s passion for coffee was encouraged from a young age. Today this passion is shared by his wife and teenage son, who both work on the farm. Over the 16 years since buying the plot, they have together built up a plantation of 9500 trees.
Their interest in specialty coffee was ignited five years ago when they won the first regional coffee contest they participated in. The success of being recognized as one of the best coffees in Antioquia as well as their desire to continue producing high quality coffee gave them the motivation to continue competing. Their long-term goal of planting more coffee, striving for greater quality and spreading the word to the rest of the world is one shared by the Department of Antioquia.
Currently 72,000 of the 132,000 hectares cultivated with coffee in Antioquia produce specialty coffee. Having recognized the potential this provides farmers, the ‘Antioquia: Origin of specialty coffees’ was set up. Started in August 2012, this strategy aims to increase rural development through education, training, technical assistance to improve quality and the development of market access.
We are lucky enough to already know first hand how fantastic Antioquia coffee can be, having recently bought 6 lots from Pedro Echavarria and his family at Santa Barbara Estate. Their coffees were extremely popular, with some of their Veracruz and Joyeria lots selling out even before they’d hit the shores
Thanks to this demand we are very pleased to have another Colombian container with more of their wonderful beans on board arriving in August. But our search never ends; Always looking for excellence, we have Sebastian from our US office is spending July and August in Colombia to source even more from unique, undiscovered farms.