The town of Consaca is located on the Western outskirts of the Galeras Volcano in the department of Nariño. As well as being known as an important coffee-growing town in the region, Consaca was witness to the famous ‘Battle of Bombona’ between the liberating army of Simon Bolivar and the royalist Spanish army in Colombia’s fight for independence.
Living at the skirts of the Galeras Volcano, the people of Consaca declare a strong affiliation to the volcano that looms above. In many ways they are very much at its mercy and regard it as their silent and perennial witness to their history. The last eruption was recorded in 2010.
Around 500 hectares are planted with coffee in Consaca, with some reaching up to 2300m in altitude. The predominant varieties planted are Caturra and Castillo, with most farmers diversifying between 2 or 3 varieties on their farm.
Producers in this region are overwhelmingly small-holders, who manage their own self-sufficient wet-mills and patios (open or covered) for drying. Every family does their own harvesting - usually with the help of neighbours. After the red and ripe cherries are picked, they are pulped by passing them through a manual pulper at the family farm (usually located close to the main house). The waste from this process will be used later as a natural fertilizer for the coffee trees. Depending on the conditions fermentation can range between 12 up to 48 hours. Some producers will add several layers of wet parchment over the course of a few days, which is thought to add complexity to the fermentation process and final cup profile. Luckily, Nariño is blessed with some of the best drying conditions in the country due to the micro-climate and high altitude of the region, providing lower relative humidity, more wind and more sunny days than other areas of the country.
Once this process is complete, many of the farmers sun-dry their parchment on patios or on the roofs of their houses (elbas) or in small greenhouse likes structures specifically made for this purpose. The parchment is delivered directly by the producer to our exporting partner’s warehouse, where it will eventually be dry milled. Once the coffee is received, it is carefully graded and cupped.