CML | Colombia Huila La Victoria
Classic Profile | Medium roast
Tasting Notes: Bergamot, Baking Spices, Caramel
IT ALL STARTS AT THE COFFEE FARM
From the foothills of the Nevado del Huila volcano, this coffee was grown, harvested and processed by the La Victoria cooperative. The 50 members of La Victoria have been producing high quality coffee for generations, but were closed off from the rest of Colombia for decades because of guerilla presence in the region, as well as the difficulty in reaching the area on narrow, unpaved access roads. Luckily, our importer partners at Coffee Quest became acquainted a few years ago through their president, Andrés Perdomo.
In late 2016, Andrés Perdomo rang the doorbell of the Coffee Quest office in Medellin, and had in his arms a huge bag of more than 25 coffee samples! Andrés is the president and representative of the Association La Victoria in Santa Maria. He had spent 18 hours in a night-bus to meet them personally. They talked with him for a few hours until he had to catch the next night-bus back, the same night!
He explained that Santa Maria, in the foothills of the Huila volcano (Nevado del Huila) had been closed off from the rest of the country for decades because of the guerrilla in the region. There are only two narrow, unpaved access roads along dangerous precipices, so it was near impossible for the authorities to enter the area. When Coffee Quest cupped (the coffee biz term for "tasted") the samples a few days later, they were in awe: the quality was extremely high, with most of them being scored at 86+. These were farmers just doing what they’ve been doing for ages, but they could only sell their coffee to local buyers at the market price or a value well below the true value of their coffee. As such, they were never really focused on specialty. But after cupping coffees ranging from 84 to 88 points, Coffee Quest was thrilled to think about the prospects of future harvests.
Coffee Quest hit it off with this group so well, that for the 2018 harvest, they actually rented a warehouse, set up a cupping lab and hired a cupper, who cups through every-single-sample that is delivered to the buying station. Several of the youngest members of the association have done internships at the buying station, learning how to cup and grade green coffee!
So much work and tasting goes into approving each farmer's coffee to be included in this lot! Coffee Quest shared with us the steps the go through to approve each coffee for purchase: First off, they always ask that farmers first bring samples to evaluate, to ensure not only cup quality, but also that the coffees meet their strict physical requirements (proper moisture content and water activity are two examples). Upon approving the sample, they ask the farmer to bring all of the coffee down to the warehouse, whereby they then take a sample from every single sack, and evaluate it again to ensure the quality of the lot is equal to that of the sample.
Coffee Quest is helping this group of farmers preserve their heritage of great coffees by making sure they are (finally) fairly compensated! They are also working with them hand-in-hand on the basics of improving quality, as well as fermentation trials for the more advanced producers. It’s a very special group of producers and through the work they are doing, demonstrating that higher, sustainable prices are in reach, producers from nearby municipalities have started dropping by to bring samples and talk about their farms, as well!
Association La Victoria
DID YOU KNOW
Since the Huila region lies relatively close to the equator, coffee harvesting happens almost year round, enabling high volumes of production.
Price paid by Driftaway
Fair Trade price per pound
Coffee C-Market price per pound
Driftaway's World Coffee Research contribution per pound
This coffee travelled 2,638 miles to the Driftaway Coffee roastery in Queens.
Love the coffee? You can share your compliments & tasting observations with the farmers.
WHY DID WE SELECT THIS COFFEE?
This year’s harvest is the highest quality we have ever received from La Victoria. It gives us a hint of bergamot, that aromatic oil present in Earl Grey tea, that balances perfectly with the dense caramel and baking spices.
AVERAGE CUPPING SCORE
SCAA Cupping Score
25 x 70 kg
Length of producer relationship
100% (in 2022)
Transparent coffees purchased
HOW DID WE ROAST THIS COFFEE?
This coffee is being roasted by Ian T. from 30th January to 23rd February in Brooklyn. We use the Loring Kestrel roaster for this profile. We have strict guidelines for each of the coffee profiles, and this roast has to pass the development time ratio test as measured in real-time by the roasting software, Cropster. Once it does, it is approved for production.
We perform Quality Control via a process of coffee tasting called cupping on all of our production roasts once a week from home as per our Covid-19 shelter in place guidelines. Each cupping is conducted by our roasting staff Kieran D. and Ian T. using standard equipment, and is logged by our Q-certified cupper Ian T. All coffees are evaluated on a scoring scale of 0 to 3.
- 3.0 = exceptional roast - exceeds expectations
- 2.5 = on par with profile - matches expectations
- 2.0 = good roast, but 1 or 2 elements could be improved - needs improvement
- 1.5 or lower = failed - do not ship
AT YOUR HOME
Brew this coffee with your favorite home brewer and enjoy the taste of incredible coffee! Here are a few tips on how to make the best coffee on each brewer.