“Paraiso” translates to “paradise,” and in southwestern Colombia, members of the APROCAFEQ El Paraiso Association have cultivated their own little slice of paraiso. Banding together has allowed the collective’s farmers to bring their high quality coffees to markets around the world, and to develop direct relationships with passionate roasters, like Marshall Hancy of Mountain Air Roasting.
El Paraiso is a direct trade relationship coffee Mountain Air sourced from 62 smallholder farmers, members of the APROCAFEQ El Paraiso Association.
El Pariso is located in the municipality of Tarqui, in the department of Huila in southern Colombia All the farms are located at an elevation of 1,600 – 2,000 meters. The coffee is fully-washed processed in micro-mills at each farm, then fully sun-dried at each farm in green-house and roof type drying patios.
These crops are grown in the midst of Plantain, Chachafruto, Guamo, and Nogal trees, which provide about 40% shade cover.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Colombia El Paraiso Cooperative, from Mountain Air Roasting in Asheville, North Carolina, courtesy of Craft Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Tarqui, Huila, Colombia
farm: APROCAFEQ El Paraiso Cooperative
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 1600 – 2000 meters above sea level
cultivars: Caturra, Colombia
process: fully washed, patio dried
Right out of the gate, this coffee is bright and juicy. I mean, really bright. Sparkling, effervescent notes of crisp orange juice and salted caramel sauce that lays down a very light base over the palate. I’m also picking out a sprinkling of cane sugar sweetness in the foundation.
As it starts to cool, there is a very brief window in which the coffee presents some dry, muted flavors instead of the citric brightness up front—bergamot, cranberry, and just a very small touch of honey.
Then that very brief window shuts and the coffee just… erupts. I thought the cup was bright up front—now, this? If the flavors of orange juice and caramel up front are “effervescent,” the flavors in the cup’s Third Act are nuclear. Honeycrisp apple, Taylor’s golden pear, cantaloupe, nectarine, golden kiwifruit, and raspberry, all enveloped by sweet grenadine and spiced rum.
Light body; juicy mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
To what can I liken the Colombia El Paraiso Cooperative, from Mountain Air Roasting, most accurately? A hurricane? A volcano?
Much like a hurricane, this coffee comes on strong, then settles into itself and gives the palate a rest before coming back stronger than before. Much like a volcano, this coffee absolutely erupts onto the palate with massively bright, intense flavors.
This coffee is so sweet, so crisp, so tropical; but it’s also very well-balanced, and features perfect clarity. Absolutely fantastic Colombian coffee.
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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.