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Single Origin

El Placer - Colombia

La Unión, Nariño, Colombia

Region: La Unión, Nariño, Colombia
Processing: Washed
Drying Method: Raised Beds
Varietals: Colombia, Castillo
Altitude: 1,900 MASL
Producer: Cecilia Realpe
Farm: Finca El Placer
Farm Size: 2 Hectares
Whole Bean Coffee
El Placer - Colombia

Tasting Notes

Date, Tamarind, Black Tea





Cecilia Realpe

Cecilia Realpe is part of a big family of coffee growers that all seem to congregate around her brother Alonso's house where the wet mill is located. Since she and her siblings' farms are quite small, they take turns using the family wet mill, each giving their coffee their own signature touch. The farm is secluded, about 4 hours away from the nearest small city, but the rural community is cohesive and more self-sufficient than most. Though Cecilia is a coffee farmer, first and foremost, she and most others in the area haven't been growing coffee for as many generations as in other areas and are hesitant to depend totally on one crop, preferring diversified income streams and on-farm food sources. Nariño is in the southwestern corner of Colombia bordering the Pacific ocean and Ecuador and enjoys conditions unique to other coffee-growing regions in Colombia. This area of Nariño has a long history of armed insurgency, neglect, and marginalization. Nariño went from an insignificant producer a generation ago, to one known for a unique profile and outstanding cup quality following the 2008 Cup of Excellence. As price premiums climbed, yield-maximizing technification of farms followed and led to a deterioration of biodiversity, quality, and economic sustainability. La Unión and other surrounding rugged, sparsely populated municipalities missed out on much of the bonanza, overlooked by many large buyers. The silver lining is that today, the smallholders in this area maintain many of the traditional aspects of Nariño coffee production that others have since lost, such as native agroforestry, long fermentation, and crop diversity, allowing them to produce excellent quality taking the time that is required and maintain a decent quality of life even when coffee prices are down. These members in La Unión demonstrate precisely the kind of steadfast yet progressive approach to coffee farming and rural life that we aim to highlight and incentivise.