Filo Del Oso - 2020

Filo Del Oso - 2020

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    Aromatics of cocoa, toasted nuts, and a subtly spicy black pepper note introduce a cup profile characterized by warming flavors and a gentle, delicate mouthfeel. As the cup cools we find a mild richness reminiscent of wafer cookie that is elegantly balanced by a clean citrus quality on the finish.

    Filo del Oso is the name of a farm owned and operated by José Manuel Cantillo, a member of the Divino Niño coffee producing community in southern Huila: the heart of Passenger’s sourcing focus in Colombia in recent years. In 2019, José contributed a tiny gesha lot to a family blend that Passenger released as Cantillo Gesha. This latest single-variety selection from Filo del Oso is of a local mystery variety, most likely a natural mutation of variedad Colombia, that is cultivated on multiple Cantillo-family farms and referred to locally as “variedad Cantillo”.


    Five years ago Passenger’s green buying team decided to refine its sourcing strategy by creating a new foundational menu. There are two fundamental goals that informed this decision. First, and most importantly, we wanted to pursue ongoing, and ideally long term, partnerships for the high-volume coffees that we buy every year because we believe that this supports a more viable business model for producers. A reliable partner who can be counted on to purchase significant volumes of coffee every year is a valuable assurance and reduces risk for the communities that we work with. Secondly, the foundational menu approach also supports us in realizing specific goals for Passenger. Pursuing stable relationships with producers who we can count on to deliver quality coffees every year allows us to offer a diverse foundational menu, that, with the aid of deep freeze preservation, is consistently available to our partners and customers year round.

    While still at a relatively early stage of development, our five Foundational partnerships, Montecarlos, Daterra, Heza, Agaro, and Divino Niño are off to a fantastic start and already deepening, thanks to the launch of our sister company Necessary Coffee. And as we hoped when first dreaming up the Foundational Menu, a lovely consequence of these partnerships is that our green buying team is increasingly offered opportunities to buy unique microlots and other Reserve Lot quality coffees that are brought to our attention through these foundational sourcing partnerships. These remarkable coffees provide additional context and nuance to our apprecia- tion of the beautiful farms and communities that we are proud to work with.

    Filo del Oso is the name of a small coffee farm, located near the tiny hamlet of Divino Niño in southern Huila, Colombia that is owned and operated by José Manuel Cantillo and his family. Fairly early on in the development of our partnership with the Divino Niño producer group we were introduced to multiple members of the Cantillo family, all of whom produce excellent quality coffee. In 2019, Passenger released a family blend of multiple gesha variety lots from their farms under the name Cantillo Gesha. José Manuel is one of the producers whose coffee was included in that release.

    The present selection from Filo del Oso is also a single-variety lot, but not a gesha. Fairly early on in our conversations with Divino Niño coffee farmers we heard mention of a coffee variety that is locally referred to as “variedad Cantillo”. While the trees of this variety are not particularly distinctive, the ripe cherries are rather unique in appearance, being bright yellowish orange in color with beautiful mottled “tiger-stripes”.

    While the precise genetic lineage of this mystery “Cantillo family” coffee variety is thus far unknown, our best guess is that it is a natural mutation of variedad Colombia, a very commonly cultivated Catimor hybrid with excellent disease resistance that is capable of producing excellent cup quality. We are hopeful that more conclusive information will be possible in the near future following genetic testing by World Coffee Research.

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