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Familia Ortega Gomez

Regular price $19.00

In stock

Overview

We’re thrilled to continue expanding our purchasing from Familia Ortega Gomez by diving into different varieties! This release will mark our third season with the stunning Yellow Caturra separation. 

The history of coffee production in the Ortega-Gomez family is multi-generational, tracing its way back nearly sixty years to the earliest days of coffee production in San Agustín, Huila.  Esnaider’s grandfather and great grandfather first began planting coffee amongst their other subsistence crops, such as maize, in pursuit of a better life for themselves. The family land has been passed down through the generations. Esnaider and his father, Don Olgar Ortega Bolaños, now own two separate farms in the area - La Esperanza and Villa Maria. This specific coffee comes from Finca la Esperanza, which is mainly where Esnaider tends to rarer varieties like Yellow Caturra, Tabi, and Sidra.  

Since his graduation from highschool, Esnaider committed himself side by side with his father, believing that coffee offered great opportunities for their family. These days they work closely together in their small beneficio at Finca Villa Maria, overseeing the fermentation and drying processes.  They both share a meticulous attention to detail, genuine curiosity for experimentation, and belief that a more equitable and profitable supply chain is possible. Though his coffees have been sold internationally in the past under his own name, Esnaider has requested that we honor the labor of the entire family, who all help in the process.

For context, our more common offering from Familia Ortega Gomez is of the Red Caturra variety. Though technically they are the same variety of Coffea Arabica, the Yellow Caturra fruits ripen yellow (surprise!)  instead of red. This natural mutation is due to a recessive gene in the plant; and thus, the plot of Yellow is kept separate from the Red so that the dominant gene does not take over through cross pollination. 

The Yellow Caturra from Familia Ortega Gomez  is particularly complex and dynamic. In comparison to the Red, we’re finding this variation to be slightly brighter and juicier, with a more tropical fruit and citrus forward acidity. The flavors remain sweet, silky, and mouth watering into the aftertaste and as the coffee cools. We’re tasting: pineapple, mango, nectarine, clementine, orange blossom, vanilla, honey, sugar cookie, butterscotch, crème brûlée, sweet black tea.

Relationship 

In early 2020 we were introduced to the young and extremely passionate coffee producer, Esnaider Ortega Gomez, via our friend Brendan Adams of Semilla Coffee. It was around this time they first began working together to build a dedicated crew of roasting partners to purchase the bulk of Esnaider’s harvest at high, sustainable prices. After being blown away by some early harvest samples and forming our own friendship through ongoing talks with Esnaider over the span of a few months (now years), we decided to jump on board with the project.

1000 Faces has synced with Semillia in committing to a long-term investment and relationship with the Ortega Gomez family. We’re hoping to shift the traditional farmer-buyer power dynamic by working directly with Esnaider to explore their cost of production, and we’re aiming to pay a true living wage for their coffees - which equates to some of the highest prices paid for a traditional washed coffee in all of Colombia.

Our relationship is ever evolving, as we’re chatting with Esnaider on a very regular basis. Even had the pleasure of traveling with him to Honduras in 2023! His vision in the past couple of years has grown to establish a larger group of growers, collectively known as Monkaaba. In addition to securing specialty market access through Semilla, one of Esnaider’s main goals is to invest in ongoing education that will grow the group’s knowledge and skills to ensure future success. Esnaider holds regular gatherings to cup and brew each other's coffee, which has led to a much more holistic understanding and confidence in the quality of their coffee.

Semilla Coffee shares about Monkaaba:

The idea for this came to Esnaider thanks to his experience over the last ten years working as a sample roaster and cupper. While he was always happy to see producers receive a solid price for their coffees through this exporter, he noticed that there was very little understanding at the buyer level of what went into coffee production. Too often he watched coffees produced by people he knew be rejected due to a single cupping session, and for this producer to receive little explanation of why it was rejected or what could be improved. What worried him the most was how this process could be confusing or demotivating to producers seeking to enter the specialty market, and he knew there had to be many who were being overlooked as a result.

Rather than focusing only on his own success as a grower, he wants to see all those around him engaged in sustainable, meaningful relationships. Now with Monkaaba, he commits himself to this on the daily. Not only does he hold weekly cupping sessions for all producers who would like to have their samples evaluated, but he also invites all those willing and interested to come and cup alongside him.

The early results have been amazing as he’s collected coffees from all over the area and hosted growers of all levels of experience and age at his farm, to cup and to discuss in depth about their goals and dreams and challenges.

Processing

This lot of Familia Ortega Gomez is 100% Yellow Caturra.  The bulk of their land, like most farms in Colombia, is planted with Red Caturra and Castillo; but Esnaider is also working towards cultivating new plots at La Esperanza of some very special varieties like Yellow Caturra, Typica, Sidra, and Tabi. 

Ripe, yellow cherries are picked at La Esperanza, delivered to their nearby beneficio at Villa Maria, and left in containers to begin a brief whole cherry fermentation for 12 hours. They are then floated and sorted to remove any under ripe or insect damaged fruits.  Coffee then moves directly to the depulper, where the skin and mucilage is removed, and the seeds undergo a dry fermentation in tile tanks for 24 hours.  The coffee seeds are finally turned out onto shaded, raised drying beds, where they are constantly tended to by Esnaider and Olgar over a 30 day drying period.

Brewing

Like its Red Caturra counterpart, this offering tends to perform well across all brew methods and is quite forgiving. It’s tasting nice along a wide spectrum of grind sizes as well;  but in comparison, the sweet spot for the Yellow Caturra is going to be slightly coarser.  On the finer end, you’ll find deeper sweetness and more classic coffee flavors - brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate, cooked fruits.  On the coarser end, you’ll highlight brighter fruit and complexity - mango, pineapple, honey. The ideal brew should produce vibrant fruit flavors coupled with a clean, silky sweetness and mouthfeel. 

If your coffee is thin in body and lacking sweetness / depth, with flavors like under-ripe stone fruit and chocolate wafer - try grinding finer. 

If your coffee is bitter and has a particularly dry aftertaste, with flavors like over-steeped black tea and roasted nuts, - try grinding coarser.

Roasting Schedule

We roast on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and fulfill orders on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  Orders will always ship within 1 - 4 days of roasting. Orders placed after Wednesday at 11:59pm Eastern will be fulfilled on the following Monday.

Nap Time

Roasted coffee thrives after a brief rest period! Flavors will evolve and become more expressive (i.e. delicious) over time as carbon dioxide escapes from the dense cell walls. We recommend aiming to brew our coffees a minimum of 1 week out from the roast date.

Proper Storage

Our bags feature a resealable zipper, making them the perfect storage vessel. Heat, moisture, and light, are all enemies to coffee and will speed up the aging process. We recommend simply storing in a cool, dry, dark place.

Bag Disposal

Our retail bags are fully compostable! We've also established a local return program in our cafe where you'll receive discounts on future bag purchases.

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