Colombia Esnaider Ortega – Limited Edition

Colombia Esnaider Ortega – Limited Edition


Colombia Esnaider Ortega
Region: Colombia Huila, San Agustin
Farm names: Finca La Esperanza
Farm area: 2.5 hectares
Variety: Yellow Caturra
Process: Washed, oak-tank fermentation
Producer name: Esnaider Ortega
Taste Note : Blackberry / Tropical Fruits / Chardonnay


Earn up to 150 Points.


Details: Cherries floated to remove defects prior to depulping, depulpled same day of picking, fermenteted in wood tank for 38 hours, dried for 30-33 days in shaded raised beds.

Esnaider is a third generation coffee farmer from San Agustin in Southern Huila. We had the pleasure of spending several weeks travelling beside him in October during our trip to Colombia and developed a very close relationship that puts our team in near daily contact with him. A shy and humble young man, he truly lives and breathes coffee, not only working in the farm all year round but also working as a sample roaster for our Colombian coffee partners Fairfield Trading.  At 27, Esnaider has already shown that he has the potential and the drive to become one of Colombia’s best coffee producers, and as a result his coffee is in high demand around the world. We can proudly say that for this year’s main harvest, which runs from November – February, we purchased the lions share of the farms production including these yellow caturra lots that will be presented in the competition, some 24 bags.  Esnaider and his family operate a small farm of about 5 hectares in size, 2.5 of which belongs to Esnaider himself. His goal is to produce nothing but 86+ coffees and he is in the process of or has already planted a wide range of coffee varietals in his pursuit to create a “menu” of coffee for buyers to consider from him.  That being said, the majority of his farm are varietals common to the average Colombian coffee producer — caturra, colombia, and castillo. Amongst his newly planted varietals are Tabi, Yellow Catuai, Geisha, and Typica. Esnaider is a big fan of yellow coffee, and has been trying to plant as much of it as he can! This is interesting because yellow coffee varietals tend to produce more mucilage than their red counterparts, which leads to a sweeter coffee in the long run.  During our visit last fall, Esnaider told us about a new project he was working on. A long time ago, when his grandfather was producing coffee, he didn’t use concrete or tiled fermentation tanks but rather “roble” or Colombian oak. As Esnaider is always in pursuit of new ways to increase quality and develop new flavours in coffee, he decided to build some oak fermentation tanks himself and to ferment his yellow caturra in these tanks.

Our interest was piqued, and so we asked for him to send us samples of these coffees when they were ready. Esnaider also sent us yellow caturra fermented in his traditional tiled tanks, and it was fascinating to see how these wood tanks did indeed infuse the coffee with a distinct flavour difference — notably we found that the coffee was deeper, sweeter, and held more complex tropical fruit flavours ranging from pineapple to papaya and passionfruit. Point-wise, while the yellow caturra in tile tank yielded a result of 86.5 to 87, the wood tank boosted that score to 88 to 88.5, a remarkable difference and one that pushed this average varietal into competition worthy standing.

We were very impressed with the quality of this coffee, but even moreso by Esnaider’s gung ho attitude to try something new. As a result, we agreed to a farmgate price of 12 times market rate for our two favourite lots of this coffee and are proud to showcase it in this setting as a competition coffee. We then purchased the rest of his yellow caturra wood lots at a more sustainable long term price of 4 times over market.  Esnaider and his family are in many ways very typical smallholder coffee producers. They are not wealthy, they don’t have exceeding amount of land or access to resources, and they struggle with low market prices alongside their neighbours.

However, due to Esnaider’s diligence to improve through cupping, visiting other farmers, and the generational knowledge learned from his family, he’s actively changing the future for himself and his family and is becoming an example for the entire community around him. In fact, just last week, Esnaider’s family hosted 50 other coffee producing families at their farm to show them what they are doing to improve quality!

We’re thrilled to promote a true small producer on the competition stage, rather than promoting estate farms with large resource sets and networks. Beyond that, we’re also excited to put forth a staple of Esnaider’s annual coffee harvest — rather than choosing an exotic, low yielding and costly varietal like Geisha, this yellow caturra lot is simply one of the best of several lots harvested throughout the year that he was able to raise the quality of to a competition worthy level.