The majority of farms in Hulia are owned by small landholders, many of whom have made concerted efforts over the past decade to produce specialty grade coffees that showcase the area’s dynamic terroir. Nutrient dense soils are matched with high altitude mountain ranges and widespread biodiversity; creating highly unique microclimates.
Farmers work to ensure quality by implementing selective harvesting, meticulous sorting, and attentive processing. These initiatives, combined with unique climatory factors, have helped Hulia become one of the most well known coffee growing regions in the world.
Finca Monteblanco is owned and operated by Rodrigo Sanchez, an award winning producer, who has earned his reputation for quality through his systematic approach to varietal selection, harvesting, and processing. He also happens to be the grandson of the property’s original owner.
The farm is located high above the city of Pitalito, along treacherous mountain roads. Much of Monteblanco’s 18 hectares are positioned on the crest of a hill, with the wet mill and drying facility sitting atop slopes of coffee plants.
In 2002, Rodrigo participated in a program that taught the children of coffee producers how to “cup” and evaluate coffee. Before this experience, he and his family had never considered coffee in terms of cup profiles. By learning to differentiate profiles, Rodrigo and his father were able to make connections between farming techniques and specific tasting attributes.
Rodrigo then began to explore the trees planted on Monteblanco, more specifically, the various cultivars that his grandfather had planted in the 1980s. One of these unique varieties is Purple Caturra, a type of Caturra whose cherries (and leaves) will ripen and reveal a distinct purple color.
Purple Caturra is highly disease-resistant and high yielding. Rodrigo evaluates all of the harvested cherries for BRIX degrees, a measure of sugar concentration, to decide how he will finish processing the coffee. This particular lot measured between 20-23 BRIX degrees and was selected for natural processing, a minimalistic yet difficult-to-execute processing method that works to highlight the fruitful complexity this coffee has to offer.
Brewing Purple Caturra - Natural
This coffee’s lively fruit characteristics and impeccable flavor clarity showcase what is possible through careful varietal selection, meticulous sorting, and patient processing; all marks of a world-class coffee producer.
Pour Over preparation will produce a cup with a slightly juicy mouthfeel and sparkling finish, both of which complement this coffee’s fruitful notes of blackberry, cherry, and lime; with time, the familiar sweetness of caramel presents itself.
The AeroPress yields a full bodied coffee with an emphasis on rich dark chocolate qualities. As the cup cools, sweetness intensifies and fruit notes become more prominent, as does a slightly herbaceous finish.