The main reason we combined these two coffees is that their cup profile is very similar, the variety is the same, and the processing is also quite similar. Most importantly, the lots were so tiny on their own that it made more sense to blend them into a single Pink Bourbon lot.
Pink Bourbon is quickly becoming the gold standard of Colombia. When I first started buying in Colombia, almost 13 years ago, the only two coffee varieties I would come across were Colombia (F6) and Caturra. Since then, another important hybrid “Castillo” was developed by Cenicafé (Colombia National Coffee Investigation Centre). Castillo has been planted throughout Colombia more than any other variety and the results, at least from a quality perspective, have been mixed. In my own personal experiences, Castillo tends to bring out more of the herbaceous notes of Catimor, which is not exactly what I am looking for in a tasty coffee. The good news is that, while most producers planted Castillo, many also planted other varieties in search for better cup quality. One of these varieties is Pink Bourbon.
Pink Bourbon is a hybrid between Yellow and Red Bourbon. In my experiences with the plant and in speaking with farmers who grow it, it doesn’t behave like a traditional Bourbon in that it is hardier and more resistant to disease. The coffee bean also doesn’t look like a Bourbon, but more like a Typica or Geisha. The tree looks like a cross between the Colombia variety and a Typica.
In the cup, my experiences with this variety have been awesome – tending to a more exotic cup profile that stands out from the more traditional Colombian varieties and resembles traits of Geishas, Ethiopian, and Kenyan coffees.
These coffees are far from traditional. They both had an anaerobic fermentation in cherry – also known as Carbonic Maceration. The coffees were then de-pulped and anaerobically fermented in pulp for 48 hours. The coffees were then washed and dried slowly on beds.
Due to Covid, I have not been able to travel and meet these two new producers, but I am hoping to make it back to Colombia soon to finally meet them and kickoff more initiatives!
This green coffee was frozen immediately on arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.