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This is the second time we have worked with Heyler Guerra and his project Russilandia, just outside Villarrica, in the Tolima region. This relationship has again been facilitated by our friends at the LaREB collective, our long term collaborators in Colombia. Heyler has owned Finca Russilandia for a number of years, having purchased it from the original owner, a descendant of Italian immigrants with the surname Russi, hence the name of the farm. The farm is located at 1550 masl in the Southern Tolima region, not far from the border with Cundinamarca, and only a 5 hour drive from Bogotá. This lower altitude means a greater risk of pests and good conditions for the fungus that causes leaf rust, so Heyller grows a lot of the resistant varietal Castillo, a newer robusta hybrid than Variedad Colombia, released by the Colombian coffee research institute CENICAFE in 2005. Previously, he worked as a salesman for high quality saddles in the equestrian market, so has a good idea of what it takes to create and market a differentiated product. This led him to his style of fermentation, with a wild character and a degree of umami brought on by long drying times and pre-fermentations. However, this style of fermentation was not for everyone, so his lots were often rejected by larger exporters. This lot of Castillo is processed using a very controlled natural method. Cherries are sealed in plastic tanks and fermented without oxygen for 72 hours, slowing the fermentation, especially the production of acetic acid, meaning that the pH isn’t lowered so quickly. This also breaks down much of the mucilage before drying, meaning that much of the sugar is already broken down in the controlled environment of the tanks, without introducing acetic taints. The cherries are then moved to raised beds to dry for 14 days. The character unveiled is deep and rich, with notes of tropical fruit, while being kept fresh by an unusual plum wine acidity.

Mango

Melon

Type

Single Origin

Origin

Tolima, Colombia

Species

Arabica

Varieties

Tekisic

Process

Extended Fermentation

Altitude

1550m

Producer

Heyler Guerra

Farm

Finca Russilandia

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