Today, we launched our newest small batch, Blue Honey Colombia. This coffee is available in one-pound ($22), five-pound ($90), and bulk coffee options. We’re excited to have this sweet & delicate coffee in our line-up, especially in time for holiday shopping.
The Nasa We’sh Indigenous Reservation is located in the southwestern part of the Gaitania district, Planadas Municipality in Colombia. This reservation consists of 5,300 hectares and ranges from 1,200m to 2,600m above sea level. The Association of Indigenous Producers of San Pedro Resguardo Páez de Gaitania (ASCI’SP) Cooperative exists to honor and assist the indigenous Nasa people to the land. ASCI’SP consists of over 66 coffee-growing families. Together, over 2,500 members work respectfully and in unison with the environment to produce high-quality coffees.
The specialty coffee industry well recognizes Gaitania for yielding coffees that are vibrant and complex in flavor. Pristine growing conditions such as cool temperatures, volcanic ash soil, and high altitude allow coffee trees to develop coffee cherries slowly. These elements together create remarkable coffees that are sweet, clean, and juicy. Blue Honey Colombia coffee strikes a perfect balance of ripe acidity and a fresh sweetness akin to sugarcane and fresh figs.
Once harvested, the coffee is transported to Tres Rayas for processing. They are located in the same municipality and specialize in processing honey and natural coffees. After 24 hours of cherry fermentation, the coffee is pulped, and the peel is removed. During this time, approximately 45% to 50% of the mucilage is left on the bean. The coffee is put in black bags, and the bags are then placed in closed tanks for 48 hours. Since the average temperature in this region is 60° F, fermentation generates more significant degradation of sugars while producing more complex flavor and aromatic components than in other areas in the country. After 48 hours, it then goes to canopies, where it will dry for 14 days.
The Nasa We’sh tribe, who originate from southern Cauca, were brought to Planadas by the Colombian Army in the early 1900s to work in the gold mines. After independence, the Nasa We’shCI’SP tribe claimed the land and became coffee farmers. Gaitania is also famous for being the birthplace of a rebel army, FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). While Colombia has since signed a peace accord with this rebel force, the Nasa people of this region fought for peace to maintain their land and have held it for over 20 years. The strength of these people has borne incredible coffee for generations.
All members manage their farms under organic standards that are in line with the ancient principles of their tribes. The Nasa people have great respect for the land they inhabit and cultivate everything organically, leaving as much native flora intact as possible as a matter of principle. The Nasa people see a close connection between the health of the earth and the health of the people. ASCI’SP has helped coffee growers on the reserve to improve agricultural practices and maintain organic and fair-trade certifications. Farmers receive proper training to select only the ripe fruit and standardize pulping, fermenting, washing, and drying processes. Dry mills are also vital facilities in their model because they control traceability, quality, and the integrity of the product. The care in this small batch coffee is evident in the cup.