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.
Didier’s coffee is far from traditional. The coffee first underwent an anaerobic fermentation in cherry for 24 hours. The coffee was then de-pulped and anaerobically fermented in pulp for 48 hours. The coffee was then washed and dried slowly on beds. This process is becoming more popular with high calibre Colombian coffee producers because it highlights fruity flavours but they can control it so that the coffee doesn’t develop funky or winey flavours that can result in bad fermentations.
What I love about Didier’s coffee is that the fruit from the fermentation doesn’t overwhelm the natural flavours from his terroir. The coffee is definitely fruit forward with lots of pink grapefruit and peach, but also has lots of milk chocolate and honey notes all rounded out with a fresh floral aroma.
This green coffee was frozen immediately on arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.