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Now Sourcing: Nariño, Colombia

Posted by Lori Bailey on

Nothing like the thrill of a new beginning. And when it involves one of our very favorite growing regions in Colombia? Color us excited.

We here at Olympia Coffee are pleased to begin a new partnership in the Colombian department of Nariño, an area known for producing coffees with outstanding flavor and competitive quality. And, with the help of our friends at Caravela Coffee, we're now able to bring you the best of the best of what Nariño has to offer. Say hello to our newest sourcing partnership: the Taita Project, based in the community of Consaca, Colombia.

At Olympia Coffee, we take our sourcing relationships very seriously. It's not often that we introduce a new origin—which is why we're over the moon to introduce Taita and the farmers we'll be sourcing from through this project. Beginning with our very first release: an exceptional micro lot by farmer Jaime Males. This lot perfectly showcases the sort of excellence that has us excited about this sourcing project. Produced with superlative attention to quality and classic Colombian flavors, it points back to one very special growing region: Nariño.

Coffee growing in Nariño, Colombia

About Nariño

Perched on the southwestern-most corner of Colombia and bordering Ecuador and the Pacific Ocean, Nariño is one of Colombia's most renowned growing regions. It's home to the rich volcanic soils of the southern Colombian Andes, affording it some of Colombia's highest elevations for growing coffee. These high mountain slopes and deep chasms, along with cooler temperatures, lead to slower, longer growing seasons—allowing the coffee fruit to really take its time developing all that depth of flavor. As a result, beans from Nariño are known for their smooth mouthfeel, well-developed acidity, and chocolaty flavor.

Tucked into the foothills of the Andes, the small town of Consaca is home to the farmers we'll be working with for this project.

Consaca, Nariño, Colombia

How does this sourcing project work?

There's a reason we don't often kick off new sourcing programs—because once we start, we're invested in the long-term health of each partnership and the communities we're connected to. Some of our most trusted partnerships have lasted well over a decade! That's why it's such a huge deal for us to begin something new in Nariño. And it would be impossible without the ongoing collaboration of our friends at Caravela Coffee.

A specialty coffee exporter and importer, the team at Caravela have been steadfast friends in the business, helping us maintain connections with the farmers we work with on the ground in Colombia. They've been invaluable partners for years—and now, for our Taita Project, they'll be assisting us once again.

When we begin a project like Taita, it's absolutely essential for us to maintain tight communication with the folks on the ground at origin. Caravela employs a staff cupper whose responsibility is to cup each day's harvest, all year round. Farmers in Colombia often process their own coffees, which they drop off for cupping and scoring. That job is up to Caravela, who then set aside some of the highest-quality lots that they think align with what we're looking for here at Olympia Coffee. Over years of working with them, our alignment with Caravela has grown seriously strong; and maintaining that alignment is something we prioritize every time we travel back to origin.

Once we've sampled and approved a coffee here in Olympia, Caravela also helps us ensure that our farmers get paid fairly—and fast. After all, how we treat our farmers is paramount to maintaining those good, trusting relationships that we're trying to build! Then it's out the door to us for export, and before long we have a new coffee waiting for us in-house. Just like magic! Or, really, just like having great working partnerships across the world. Which is, actually, pretty magical.

Farmers in Consaca, Nariño, Colombia

So, excited to try our first release yet?

We sure are—and we hope you are, too! Enjoy a cup of Jaime Males Micro Lot, and look forward to many more coffees to come from the Taita Project.

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