Colombia La Familia Guarnizo
caramel, honey, clementine
This coffee comes to us through a strong relationship between Joe Coffee and the El Paraiso growers’ association in Huila, Colombia. From the beginning of our roasting adventure, El Paraiso, in association with importer/exporter Caravela, has connected us with a number of excellent, high quality Colombian coffees.
This bright and light-bodied selection was grown by a special group of El Paraiso’s member farmers: the Guarnizo family. Featuring notes of stone fruit and almonds with a medium acidity, this coffee is a customer favorite.
ProducerThe Guarnizo Family
Meet the Guarnizo Family
The Guarnizo family is made up of eight brothers and one sister who own and operate six farms in the area surrounding the town of Tarqui. Their farms sit on the eastern slopes of the Central Cordillera in the Andes Mountains. The siblings primarily grow Caturra and Colombia coffee varieties, with plantings of Yellow Caturra.
Processing and drying here is very simple, but carefully monitored. The cherries are placed in a tank filled with water where the floating cherries are separated from the higher quality, denser cherries that sink to the bottom. After passing through a basic depulping machine with a small amount of water, the seeds are then fermented for 24 hours in tile-lined tanks. After fermentation, the coffee is washed in the same tank with fresh water before drying.
The Guarnizos dry their coffee in the shade on raised beds for about a week before moving it to a sunnier, covered solar dryer where it dries slowly for another 10–15 days. They carefully monitor the temperature and humidity in the dryer, regulating those factors by opening or closing ventilation flaps in the structure. The beds remain covered to protect the coffee from the unpredictable rains in this region of Colombia. When the coffee is dried to the proper level, the Guarnizos deliver their parchment coffee to the El Paraiso warehouse for quality assessment and payment.
During our first visit to El Paraiso and the Guarnizo family, we talked about a fixed price contract that would assure a steady price for their coffee throughout the year. They and Joe agreed on a quality minimum, based on El Paraiso’s cupping scores and a quantity for the contract. The fixed contract allows the families to count on a steady price for their higher quality coffees, while easing the worry of fluctuations in the commodities market. It’s a true win-win agreement.
This part of Colombia has two harvests per year. The first semester runs from April–July while the second usually runs from October–December. The two growing periods allow us to have fresh coffee from these farms all year round.