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Colombia Tabi | Las Flores | Top Shelf

The wait is finally over! 


This Summer we bring you two 'Top Shelf' coffees from Colombia. They truly capture everything we admire in Colombian coffee. The first is a washed process Tabi coffee produced by the Vergara family from Las Flores farm in the Huila region. This is located at an altitude of 1730 MASL and was harvested from last October to January. The second is a washed process Pink Bourbon coffee.


In bringing this tabi coffee to you we would like to draw attention to its varietal and some of its characteristics that we find rather interesting: 


Tabi means, 'Good', in the native Colombian dialect of Guambiano. It is a hybrid of Bourbon, Typica and Timor HdT 1343. The tabi varietal was developed by Cenicafe to be resistant to leaf rust, also called roya. Tabi is harvested unlike a majority of coffee varietals. We often conjure a romantic image of coffee farmers trawling through coffee cherries in the mountains and observing the precise shade of red that makes for a perfectly ripe cherry. This is a special skill for which farmers have a unique eye and can even be qualified for in certain regions, but these tabi cherries were intentionally picked when they were semi-ripe instead of fully ripe. The idea is that often too much oxidation with tabi varietals can result in intense 'ferment-like' flavours but the semi-ripe picking reduces this. 


After these cherries were picked they underwent four key stages of processing. Firstly, they were floated as an initial method of sorting. They are then washed with hypochlorite, which helps to remove impurities and left to oxidize for 48 hours on tarps. Secondly, they are depulped and left to ferment in their coffee slime for 36 hours. Thirdly, they receive a kind of 'thermal shock'. This involves the addition of hot water (50 C) into their fermentation tanks such that the coffee remains submerged underwater for 36 hours. Finally, the coffee is dried across a period of 10 days, depending on weather conditions.  


We consider this coffee that was processed by the Vergara family to be an outstanding example of a modern Colombian coffee in the sense that the coffee has undergone extensive and particular processing and tastes of these modern processing techniques like thermal shock–even a little bit like yeast processed coffee too–but it is not just the taste of the processing that we find in the cup.


In terms of flavour notes, we have been finding floral, raspberry, Lifesavers blackcurrant and lime.


Sit back and relax, or rather, sip back and relax as your next top shelf coffees have arrived! We love to roast and serve such vibrant yet delicate tasting coffees and hope you enjoy them too.  



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