Learn More about El Puente...
The El Puente processing facility is owned and operated by Rodrigo Sanchez and his wife Claudia Samboni, under the umbrella of their company Aromas del Sur; which includes several farms, cupping labs, and a state-of-the-art dry mill, in the Palestina region of southern Huila.
Although there are small wet-mills on Rodrigo’s farms, he made the decision to construct El Puente so that he could increase overall production capacity. Having a centralized mill that can process large amounts of coffee cherries from several farms allows him to grow more coffee without overwhelming the staff at his existing mills, giving them the time they need to carefully process high quality micro-lots.
That’s not to say that the larger lots coming from El Puente are of lesser quality. The facility itself was specifically designed to process large amounts of coffee cherries and it is outfitted with the necessary equipment to do just that. Additionally, the staff running El Puente are some of the most skilled coffee professionals in all of Huila.
This lot is naturally processed, meaning that the coffee is allowed to dry with its fruit in tact, which is a task that can take well over a month in the cool, cloud-covered, mountains of Huila.
Naturally processed coffees are desired for their fruitful sweetness and juice-like qualities, however this extended period of drying has some drawbacks for producers.
The coffee cherries run a relatively high risk of rotting or over-fermenting during drying because the fruit flesh surrounding the coffee bean contains sugars that will spoil when subjected to extreme changes in temperature or excessive amounts of moisture.
The staff at El Puente mitigate these risks by selecting coffee cherries with lower levels of sugar to begin with (at the time of harvest), and by using large, fabric-covered, parabolic dryers in order to regulate temperature and protect the coffee from excess rain or mist.
The result is a well-balanced coffee that pairs familiar chocolate-like flavors with fruitful acidity, and rich sweetness.
Brewing El Puente
This naturally processed lot from our friends at El Puente is pleasantly sweet, with a silky mouthfeel, and rich tasting notes; a direct result of careful and attentive processing.
Pour Over preparation will lead to balanced cup with moderate brightness. Expect the flavor and acidity of fresh figs paired with rich sweetness of brown sugar. As the cup cools spice notes, such as clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon, become more prominent.
The AeroPress will produce a slightly earthier cup, further highlighting this coffee’s rich and approachable flavor qualities. Once again, expect the sweetness of brown sugar and the warming qualities of baking spices.