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 is 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 amongst the most highly skilled coffee professionals in all of Huila.
Honey processed coffees are sought after because they typically result in cups that are extremely sweet, without being quite as fruitful as Natural coffees. This is because a portion of the fruit material that surrounds the bean is removed before the main phase of fermentation.
At El Puente, the honey process begins by with an initial 24 hours of fermentation in cherry, using the coffee’s harvest sacks. The coffee is then sorted using a flotation tank, with floaters being removed and discarded.
Next “healthy” cherries are then pulped and the outermost layer of fruit is stripped away from the seed, leaving a portion of the fruit mucilage intact. The coffee then dry ferments in an open air environment for an additional 24 hours. It is during this primary phase of fermentation that the fruit material imparts sweetness into the final cup.
The coffee is then dried using a large outdoor “solar dryer” for three days before being transferred to a state of the art mechanical drier, which lowers the moisture content down to a level that allows the coffee to be safely stored and further prepared for export.
Brewing El Puente
This Honey lot from our friends at El Puente is smooth, rich, and intensely sweet with subtle fruit acidity and full mouthfeel; the result of careful and attentive processing.
Check out our AEROPRESS GUIDE
The AeroPress will produce a coffee with moderate brightness, and a thick, cream-like, mouthfeel. An array of fresh berry notes quickly transition into more saccharine flavors such as molasses and milk chocolate, leaving a long and pleasant aftertaste.
Check out our POUR OVER GUIDE
Pour Over preparation will lead to a crisp and complex cup with slightly more pronounced acidity, reminiscent of ripe cranberries; cooling to present the confectionary sweetness of toffee.