We sourced the Colombian El Puente Natural coffee via Sabores just for our 2022 festive season.
Colombia is a geographically diverse country. With shore lines on the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific, and the Andes mountain range running its final course through the country. Being geographically diverse means that Colombia is a great country to produce coffees with varied flavour noted.
Different accounts credit the Jesuits for introducing coffee to Colombia around 1723. Coffee production only became a significant economic contributor by the end of the 19th century. By 1912, coffee contributed fifty per cent of the exports from Colombia.
While there are regions in Colombia that have large plantations, specifically in the North like the Antioquia region, the coffee grown in the south is typically by small holders. Most small holders have less than 3 acres under coffee, so normally coffee is consolidated via a local mill or cooperative.
El Puente Mill
The El Puente Mill (a processing facility), built in 2018, is a pilot project that is supported by community investments in the sustainable development of rural areas. El Puente (meaning bridge) is named after the footbridge over the river near the new El Puente processing facility. Based in the Palestina region of southern Huila, the mill processes coffee from small surrounding farms. Over one hundred families produce coffee on their farms in the region. Once their coffees are ready, they deliver them to El Puente, which is designed to handle larger volumes of coffee than the mills on individual farms can process.
Typically, the producing families near El Puente have one or two hectares under coffee. Since most do not have a pulping or drying mill on their farms, they have to sell their wet coffee. El Puente receives the coffee from the neighbouring producers and pay them at a premium price, even without having the coffee processed. This social impact helps significantly to motivate the coffee farmers to cultivate good quality coffee and how important it is to maintain the harvest very well.
El Puente Process
When coffees that arrive at the El Puente Mill they are either processed as Honey, Natural or washed. The coffee is measured in Brix degrees to determine the process to be carried out and to carry out the fermentation. For the coffee we are offering when the coffee arrives at the coffee processing plant, El Puente proceeds to float the coffee to eliminate impurities, if in the course they observe that the Brix degrees are low, it is left to ferment for 12 to 24 hours in the sacks and then taken directly to the sun. If the cherries have a good Brix degree content, it goes immediately to the sun as the first step in the drying process.
Details of Colombian El Puente Natural
A balanced coffee with tropical fruits and cocoa finish. It has a medium to full mouth feel.
|86.58 (as per Sabores datasheet)
|Producers that supply El Puente (see above)
|Lot size bought
|1 x 15kg bag
|Our relationship with Sabores goes back to 2019.