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La Palma y El Tucán / Doña Rosalbina Lactic Process

Pink Grapefruit, Yellow Plum, Toffee

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An experimentally-processed gem from our Direct Trade partners La Palma y El Tucán in Cundinamarca, Colombia. Bright and sweet aromas of clementine and toffee precede flavors of cherry and persimmon in the brewed cup, with pink grapefruit acidity and the sweetness of golden delicious apple. The body is silky, with a slightly savory aftertaste of cardamom and pecan.


Producer: Rosalbina Bernal, La Palma y El Tucán
Farm: Las Mercedes
Region: Cundinamarca
Altitude: 5,250 feet
Varietal: Castillo
Process: Lactic
Roast: Light
Notes: Pink Grapefruit, Yellow Plum, Toffee

The Story

Finca La Palma y El Tucán's Neighbors & Crops Program is a sustainable relationship model that helps small-scale farmers produce top-quality coffee with traditional Colombian varieties. Having located more than 200 coffee-growing families within a few miles of their main farm, La Palma y El Tucán now buys and processes exceptional coffee cherries from these smallholders, guaranteeing higher prices to the farmers while controlling every step of the production line and providing infrastructure and support to those from whom they purchase coffee.

Read more about the Neighbors & Crops program in PT's co-founder Jeff Taylor's latest blog post.

From La Palma y el Tucán:

"At 72 years old, Doña Rosalbina is one of the eldest coffee growers in our program. Her farm is in the Anatoli trail, at 1600 meters above sea level. Rosalbina tells us she has grown coffee since she was 20 years old. She attributes her love for coffee to her late husband, a passionate coffee farmer who passed away almost 10 years ago. They started buying parchment coffee 50 years ago; soon after, they began renting out farm lots where they could grow their own coffee. They were able to raise enough money to buy their own farm—Las Mercedes—about 35 years ago.

Doña Rosalbina has 3 children. Currently, she lives on the farm with one of her grandsons and his wife. Her son-in-law, Diositeo (another coffee grower from our program), assists her in maintaining her crops. On her one-hectare farm there are 3000 coffee plants of the Colombia and Castillo variety, planted strategically under the shade. Despite her age, Rosalbina has believed in this project since the beginning. Before she became one of our loyal coffee growers, she used to sell wet parchment coffee to local buyers. She says it was very difficult to dry the coffees because she doesn’t have the infrastructure to do so, and she stresses that the humidity levels in the region are very high. Even though she produced good coffees, she wasn’t able to make reasonable prices because her coffees were never properly processed. Being a part of our Neighbors & Crops program gives Doña Rosalbina more time to dedicate to her home, because our project is in charge of cherry picking and processing—labors that she cannot physically perform anymore. She feels grateful dedicating time to her beautiful home and garden." 

The Lactic Process

Lactic fermentation is a controlled process that creates an environment allowing for the growth of Lactic Acid Bacteria. The process occurs under anaerobic conditions and constant measurement of the oxygen level, sugar content, and pH. The bacteria feed on sugars clinging to the coffee parchment, generating high concentrations of lactic acid that impacts the coffee's flavor profile. After the desired pH is achieved, the coffee is soaked in clean water to stop the growth of the bacteria and then dried for at least 15 days.

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