Colombia Familia Reyes

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Familia Reyes is in-your-face, fruity, and tropical - easily one of the wilder Colombias we've roasted at Huck! If you're looking for a coffee that's classic or traditional, you might want to look at other Latin American coffees in our lineup, but if you want to go for a ride, read on.

At it's most basic level, washed coffee goes through the following steps:
1. Harvest the coffee.
2. Depulp the cherry skin from the seed, usually the same day that the coffee is picked.
3. Allow the remaining fruit (called mucilage or honey) to ferment and break down over 12-48 hours.
4. Wash off the mucilage using clean water.
5. Dry the coffee in its final protective layer, called parchment.
6. Mill the parchment off of the coffee just before export.

That's admittedly a gross oversimplification, and there have always been variations on this process, from country to country and from farm to farm. But that's the basic idea. And over the past few years, we've seen producers push the fermentation step in novel ways, removing oxygen or sealing off the coffee during fermentation, keeping the coffee in its cherry for longer before depulping, inoculating fermentation tanks with yeast, using fancy-but-largely-inaccurate scientific buzzwords to attach a label to the process, etc.

Some of these experiments are gross. But with a bit of luck and calculated approach to experimentation, more and more of these processing variations are tasting great, rather than simply interesting. And while we're never put the word "anaerobic" on our bags (because it seems to mean something completely different on every farm) more and more of our coffees are washed, but with some deviation from the norm in fermentation.

In this case, the Familia Reyes - a family Nariño who farm and process their coffee together - stretched fermentation both before and after depulping. After picking, they keep their coffee in-cherry for three days, depulp, then ferment for another 3 days prior to washing. It's risky, but the cool temperatures in Nariño help keep the process in check, and the result is a coffee that's definitely fruity, definitely funky, but keeps those flavors in balance.

This will be Huck's second coffee from La Union de Nariño, an association in Southern Colombia. It follows Segundo Grijalba from a few years back, and comes our way through La Real Expedición Botánica. LaREB is a collective of coffee growers who have banded together to export their coffee and keep more of the value at the farm level, and we've been impressed with their experimental - but actually good! - coffees from the get-go. Keep an eye out for more LaREB at Huck, including a coffee from Marisela Sanchez in Huila and our Skeleton Key Decaf, produced by Ana Mustafa.

For Familia Reyes, expect the unexpected. We're tasting tropical fruit candy (we would've put Sweet Tarts on the bag if we weren't worried about a cease-and-desist), honey, and grape soda in our mugs. It's out there for sure, but it's the good kind of wild.

 

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