Producer: Pablo Andres Guerrero
Farm: El Obraje, Cup of Excellence Winning Farm 2021
Altitude: 2.200 masl
Cupping score: 87.50
CUPPING NOTES: Tropical notes of pineapple and guava, sour cherry, molasses sweetness, cacao nibs. Juicy and bright.
We loved Pablo's coffee so much last year that we had to bring it back for you!
Pablo Andrés Guerrero of Obraje farm in the Nariño region has won the 2021 Colombia Cup of Excellence with a Washed Gesha, scoring 90.61 points, and placed 8th in Colombia’s 2020 Cup of Excellence with the natural version of Gesha.
Hacienda El Obraje is a truly stunning property in the mountains of the Nariño department, with coffee planted on the slopes descending to a river valley. The nearly 100-hectare estate now cultivates coffee on only 25 hectares; Pablo has converted the rest of the land into a natural forest reserve.
Mr Pablo Guerrero was the first to introduce coffee to the Tangua area outside of the city of Pasto in 2000. Hacienda El Obraje has been in Pablo’s family for many years and produced initially wheat and other grains on 92 hectares of land. However, when the Colombian government began importing grains in the 1990s, it was no longer viable to continue producing wheat. Pablo and his team experimented with fruit trees for ten years, but challenges like bringing fresh fruit to market made fruit production an unsuccessful alternative.
When Pablo first began planting coffee in 2000, he grew traditional coffee and didn’t have a mill of his own. However, by 2009 he had built a facility to process his coffee and entered the specialty coffee market. From there, Pablo continued experimenting; he planted new varieties and started processing Natural and Washed coffee. Transitioning to coffee production was risky because he was unsure how productive coffee would be at such high elevations. Still, the coffee trees flourished, and now others follow in his footsteps.
The climate and terrain of Obraje are major contributing factors to its coffee’s unique cup profile. The farm is situated near many volcanic mountains, and the rocky soil is rich with minerals. Unfortunately, Obraje often does not receive adequate rainfall and must irrigate select lots using water from the farm’s retention pond. Temperatures vary significantly in a day, ranging from 32°C at noon to 8°C or less at night. The drastic temperature fluctuations impact the density of the coffee beans and cause the trees to be more compact than trees of the same variety growing in other regions of Colombia. In addition, the humidity is high during the rainy season, making it nearly impossible to dry coffee on raised beds. Planting shade trees would have been disadvantageous given the humidity, as they would have trapped too much moisture and caused diseases. The coffee has adapted to its conditions, though, and the farm now has low-density shade trees planted along with the coffee trees.