Colombia - El Rubi Estate
~Whole Bean Coffee~
Tasting Notes: Pomegranate, Apple, Caramel
Grower: Ramon Chinchilla | El Rubi Estate
Variety: Castillo, Colombia, and Tabi
Region: El Venado Village, Manaure Municipality, Cesár Department, Colombia
Process: Handpicked, Fully Washed, and Dried on Raised Beds
Altitude: 1,890 m
Soil: Sandy Loam
Grower Certifications: Organic
Ramon Chinchilla grows coffee in an often under-represented and little-known corner of Colombia’s northeastern mountains along the border of Venezuela in the remote Cesár department. The Serrania del Perijá mountain range eventually feeds into the same Andean cord that passes through Bogotá and on southward; however, the climate in this area has considerable influence from the Caribbean (even at the highest elevations). This creates an ecosystem that is unique to the rest of Colombia, including the nearby Sierra Nevada. The soil in that region is silty and less retentive of water which requires growers to be more intentional about shade management and erosion prevention.
Ramon bought his 11.5-hectare plot 18 years ago with a vision of uniting his wife and sons around a natural existence, working closely together, and helping to carry on the traditional organic farming methods of the area. Six of the 11.5 hectares are planted with coffee and the remaining 5.5 hectares are a mixture of avocado, banana, blackberry, and corn. The municipality of Manaure, (where Ramon’s community is located) sits toward the very top of the Cesár department and is in the foothills of the Serrania del Perijá range. Ramon works the farm with his sons over the long and steady harvest period. Processing is a quick and efficient affair with 14-20 hours of fermentation after de-pulping and 8-9 days of drying until the parchment is finished.
Ramon’s exporter of choice (InConexus) is a specialty coffee exporter and relationship management company who works directly with growers in seven of Colombia’s departments. InConexus manages local purchasing hubs throughout the departments where they operate. The hubs buy parchment or dried naturals directly from growers, intaking coffee through a rigorous quality classification and pricing system tied to cup score. Once assessed, deliveries are blended under micro-brands or sold as single farm lots and marketed around the world. InConexus prides itself on prioritizing direct knowledge between producers, importers, and roasters, hosting multiple auction events or educational summits each year to expose producers to the wider market and vice versa.