With the help of his uncle and wife, Carlos Guamanga started growing coffee twelve years ago on his four hectare farm El Recuerdo. Originally from the department of Cauca, Carlos left his hometown for the first time at age 15, in search for better work opportunities. His first stop ended up being the coffee-producing municipality of Palestina, also in southern Huila, where he began learning about the crop. His search for better-paying work would eventually last for the next several years, and would also take him to the departments of Caquetá and Putumayo. When Carlos was around 18, he again found himself back in Huila, working on coffee farms as a picker. At one such farm, Carlos met his future wife Patricia, whom he affectionately calls “Pato”.
With time, Carlos acquired valuable knowledge regarding coffee production. He studied roasting and cupping of specialty coffees at the SENA (National Learning Service). Through trial and error, he has experimented with diverse post-collection processing techniques. Carlos and Pato now have two children and they grow four varieties of coffee. They believe in responsible, environmentally-friendly, sustainable agriculture practices and are meticulous in their stewardship and protection of the natural forest reserve that makes up part of El Recuerdo. Carlos has high hopes for the future of his family’s coffee—besides continuing to produce high-quality coffee; he dreams of exporting his coffee to many countries around the world.
This micro lot marks the first time we have had the pleasure of offering our friend and producing partner for over five years, Carlos Guamanga’s coffee on a national level. This coffee’s cup profile took us back to the time when Colombia was just beginning to become known for its high-quality, high-altitude coffees. El Recuerdo’s last harvest is a good example of the true essence of Colombian coffee; which is characterized by its clean cup, pleasing acidity and distinctive sweetness, as well as its sensory attributes exemplary of the traditional semi-washed process. El Recuerdo—”the memory”—reminds us of and renews our passion and love for our nation’s coffee. We hope that you enjoy this special debut as much as we do, and that it brings back pleasant memories of good cups of coffee, shared with friends and family, during simpler times.