Colombia - Las Perlitas
|Producer||TCQ Colombia, The Modellin Office & Pitalito Laboyano Station|
|Variety||Caturra, Tabi & Pink Bourbon (and a tiny bit Castillo)|
|Geschikte zetmethode||Espresso & FIlter|
The town Pitalito is central to coffee trade in Southern Huila. A small town that is strategically situated on the southern end of the Magdalena river valley, seperating Colombia’s Eastern and Central mountain ranges. The area is known as the cradle of specialty coffee of Colombia, as many small farmers started focusing on quality and good processes almost 20 years ago. The Coffee Quest Colombia has setup shop to access more producers from the local community. The Station structure is used to pay higher prices for quality coffee.
In the Pitalito Station they manage coffee lots from many different farms. To improve consistency they group the farmers that deliver 83 to 85 scoring lots, while they seperate all 86+ lots and highlight the farmers story. This is the reason why you find many lots coming from Pitalito Station. Read more below about the different lots!
Each micro lot and communal lot is carefully constructed. Every small lot individually cupped various times before being included within the main lot. In addition to cup quality, each coffee must meet strict physical requirements, including guidelines for moisture content and water activity. The first time a lot is cupped is when the producer brings a sample to the buying station. After approval the producer will then bring the lot down to the warehouse where it will be cupped again, taking a sample from each sack to ensure consistency. After final approval, the parchment coffee is packed in Grainpro bags and remains untouched until the entire lot is milled in Medellín.
Throughout the harvest, it’s quite common that small-holders produce lots that aren’t large enough to be exported on their own. However, the quality is often just as good (or better) than samples received from larger lots. As such, they decided to buy all coffees, regardless of size and create a specialty blend based on cup profile, with a quality that would compare to a Micro lot. The result is Las Perlitas or “The Little Pearls”, various small lots from producers around the Huila region, whose farms range in elevation from 1,600 to 2.100 m.a.s.l. and grow quality varieties.