The department of Santander is one of the oldest coffee-producing regions of Colombia—some say it is in fact, the birthplace of Colombian coffee.
Due to its privileged geographical position and its abundance of micro-climates, this department located in the northern part of the country requires a completely different system of production. If you could grow wings and take flight to get a bird’s eye view of Santander, you wouldn’t see any coffee, but instead you’d be met with the sight of endless hectares of lush forest dotted with several kinds of shade trees of countless hues of green, that shield the obscured coffee trees below from the intensity of the sun’s rays.
The guidelines for coffee cultivation in Santander are clearly drawn in the sand. The coffee crop reacts differently to the atmospheric elements and therefore requires a specific model of care. The weather is warmer than in other areas where coffee grows, and the rainy season, which used to be more clearly defined, has begun to fluctuate. Today, Santander is facing increasingly longer periods of drought. The coffee trees take longer to reach maturity, the beans tend to be larger in size, and produce a well-balanced cup, with sweet and fruity profiles. The harvest is shorter and more concentrated. The cherries are intentionally left to ripen on the branch for longer than is typical in other coffee-growing departments that do not utilize the shade-grown system of cultivation.
The coffee-producing tradition of Santander is characterized by the use of functional shade cover within the coffee plantations. Several different species of tall, native trees provide the necessary cover. Some of the most commonly used are the Arrayán, Carbonero, Guamo (ice-cream bean) and Balso (Balsa wood) trees. The practice of protecting the fertile, yet clay-heavy and sandy soils of Santander, is an ancestral tradition of conservation long-utilized by the coffee producers of this region.
This blend is made up of micro-lots from nine producing partners from the municipality of Valle de San José, specifically from the vereda of San Isidro. In collaboration with the Cooperativa de cafeteros de Santander, we are very excited and grateful to be able to feature for the first time, a roasted coffee from this origin, that for many may still be somewhat unknown.
We invite you to enjoy what Santander has to offer, all beautifully presented in an excellent cup of coffee.