Region: South America
This, the first harvest of 3-year old trees on Gabriel Muñoz’s Finca Los Alerces, comes to us at a delightfully reasonable price point, an entry-level Gesha for the curious, and a special coffee in its own right. One of the reasons for its lower price is that It comes from trees just three years old, not yet mature enough to produce the vibrancy of flavor commonly associated with more established trees.
Gabriel Muñoz approached his exporter with an exploratory question: what price would be fair for this coffee? The Gesha cultivar still turns heads, but it takes something truly exceptional to reach the double and triple figures per pound that were once the expectation. This coffee comes to us at a (relatively) low price, one that covers the costs of the producer with enough left over to reinvest for the future, but won’t cause sticker shock for the roaster.
Producer Gabriel Muñoz intercropped his 2.5 acres of coffee with Hass avocados (the trees provide shade and a significant source of agricultural income in their own right). He runs the farm with the help of his wife; together they have two daughters they support.
Gabriel has his own micro-mill where he carefully harvests cherries, then hand sorts and floats them to remove damaged and less dense beans before depulping and fermenting for 36 hours. After this, he washes the coffee to remove the mucilage and then gently dries it on raised beds over a period of 3 weeks — quite a long time period and one that speaks to high potential shelf-life and good moisture and water activity care.
While Gabriel has designed farm management and post-harvest solutions to fit his needs, he also has a strong alliance to bring his coffee to the international market and earn fair prices. He has partnered with an exporting company called San Miguel, a family owned company based in Huila that focuses on bringing traceable individual farmer micro-lots to the international market. The partnership has helped Gabriel increase earnings from coffee sales, which means he can reinvest in his farm and strengthen his family’s livelihood.
This small harvest, just a shade over a thousand pounds in total, has loads of potential, and we’re excited to release it exclusively as a Crown Jewel. The coffee is sweet, tea-like in body with gardenia and rose-like floral notes. Cacao nib, coconut water, melon and kumquat flavors round the experience, and the finish is subtly pistachio-like. It’s a unique coffee, perhaps not for everyone, but we do love it and look forward to sharing it with you, either as green coffee or (if you plan to swing by The Crown) as a pourover.