Joyeux Holiday Blend, from Populace Coffee, is back at the Table. This year, Joyeux is comprised of coffees from Colombia and Kenya, so we should be in a real treat.
We are happy to introduce to you a new group called: “Aromas del Sur” located in Palestina, Huila. We are working together with Aromas del Sur to bring to you the best coffees from Palestina.
The founding members created the group in 2013, when they discovered the potential of specialty coffee production. Currently 73 active members compromise Aromas del Sur.
The average farm size is 6 hectares with an altitude range going from 1400 to 1900 masl. The highest farm is located at 1970 masl. The varieties commonly found on the farms are: Caturra, Colombia, Castillo, Tipica, Red Bourbon, Pink Bourbon, and Tabi.
Harvest starts in October and peak harvest is in November; mitaca (“fly crop”) is May and peak mitaca is in June. Producers harvest and mill their coffee following quality standards: They do a selective hand picking of ripe cherry, ferment the coffee to adequate level, and dry the coffee between 10–11.5% moisture content. The common practice is that the producers mill the coffee at their own farm, and once coffee is dried to the desire moisture content, it’s transferred to Aromas del Sur’s warehouse.
Aromas del Sur has a project called “Universidad del Café” (coffee university), the focus of which is to teach and implement quality procedures among the group’s producers. The goal of the project is to train the producers in agricultural practices, commercial know-how, and cupping ability.
Aromas del Sur’s warehouse functions as a storage place for parchment coffee, and has a well-equipped cupping lab for quality control. Each lot is cupped get the coffee profile and to check the quality.
Some facts about Palestina:
Palestina, located in the south of Huila, is also know as Agua Azul, (“blue water”) because it’s considered the main source of water for the department of Huila, having several water sources such as: Guarapas River, Suaza River, Aguas Claras River, La Quebradona River, Agua Azul River, and La Cumbre River.
Kibingara Coffee Factory was established in 1988 and rests on a 7 acres piece of land. It serves as a processing point for coffee from Kamwana, Gatumbi, Kithama and Kathaka Villages. Kibingara is affiliated with the Karithathi Farmers Co-operative Society Ltd and its membership currently stands at 800 farmers of which 700 are active. The factory is run by a manager and 6 permanent staff members, plus 2-10 seasonal casual staff.
While the Crop here increases year to year the Co-op struggles with stability ass many farmer tend to concentrate on tea rather than coffee because prices are not so good. Management is encouraging the farmers by giving them farm inputs and other incentives like School fee loans and field training to participate in coffee growing and increase their production and quality.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Joyeux Holiday Blend, from Populace Coffee in Bay City, Michigan. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Los Pinos, Palestina, Huila, Colombia // Kirinyaga, Kenya
farm: La Pedregosa // Kibingara Coffee Factory
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Aromas del Sur // Karithathi Cooperative
elevation: 1780 // 1700 – 1800 meters above sea level
cultivars: Caturra // SL34, Ruiru 11
process: fully washed, patio dried // fully washed, raised bed dried
This year’s Joyeux Holiday Blend has an absolutely incredible aroma. Wow! As soon as I opened the packaging, bright candied fruits and caramel came exploding out of the bag.
The taste follows the nose, much to my delight. This juicy, medium-bodied coffee is incredibly bright and lively; it’s an incredibly fruit-forward coffee that vacillates from sweet to tart from sip to sip. A thin, sugary bed of salt water taffy lays itself down for a flood of juicy fruits that comes gushing over the tongue, flooding the taste buds – strawberry, apple, plum, candied citrus (which lends itself to the coffee’s tart acidity), red grape, black cherry, and tangy rhubarb.
Medium body; juicy mouthfeel; citric acidity; clean finish.
Populace Coffee definitely tapped into the old familiar line “making spirits bright” with this, their 2015 Joyeux Holiday Blend. Knowing they sourced coffees from Colombia and Kenya for this blend gave me hope that it was going to be a wild, lively, fruity explosion of flavor and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
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.