Elkin Guzman is a true pioneer in Pitalito. He is an extremely intelligent young farmer that is using technology in amazing ways to improve his coffee. His techniques are so calculated that his coffee has been some of the most consistently impressive to come out of Colombia.
One only has to walk around this property to understand why this farm is called Finca El Mirador—the look out. The view is spectacular.
El Mirador is a whole family affair, but its more recent success can be attributed to the pioneering work of one son in particular, Elkin Guzman. Elkin is an extremely gregarious, intelligent young farmer who is not afraid of progress. His careful, nearly obsessive, care for his land and coffee trees and his progressive use of technology in the processing and drying stages of coffee production have improved his coffee quality year after year.
Funnily enough, many coffee producers in the region endearingly refer to him as Little Arnulfo, which is a huge compliment for this young farmer since much of his progress can be attributed to the mentoring work of the legendary Arnulfo Leguizamo.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Colombia El Mirador, from Bluebeard Coffee Roasters in Tacoma, Washington. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Pitalito, Colombia
farm: Finca El Mirador
producer: Elkin Guzman
elevation: 1680 meters above sea level
cultivars: Caturra, Bourbon, Colombia, Stavi, Typica
process: fully washed, patio dried
grind: 20, Preciso
coffee: 32 g
water: 500 mL
pour: 2:00 concentric pour, 1:00 drop
The aroma of the Colombia El Mirador is really interesting, and it bursts out of the cup with scents of chocolate, cloves, coriander, citrus, and bell pepper.
The coffee is very complex up front. It’s sweet, it’s savory, it’s vegetal, it’s spicy, it’s fruity; and all of these things are happening all at once, but they’re pretty disjointed. In other words, I can taste everything that’s happening separate from each other; the high, the low, and the middle—individually, yet, in concert. Dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and clove provide the backbone, while sharp and tangy ruby red grapefruit and nectarine stream down the center of the palate. The thing that holds these two extremes together—the middle ground—is a bizarre coupling of salted caramel and bell pepper.
In terms of flavor, not much changes as the cup cools. What does change, however, is the profile of the cup. Instead of being a disjointed cup, made up of unique and individual flavors, all of those flavors come together for a beautifully silky, clean finish.
Medium body; silky mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.