While the aromatic qualities of this 2020 offering from Don German are perhaps subtler and more nuanced when compared to earlier harvests, the hallmarks of his memorable tabi variety are certainly here to enjoy: cocoa, raspberry, and toffee on the nose precede a refreshing lime acidity and flavors of blackberry, almond, and black tea in the cup.
Coffees from La Morelia, a beautiful farm owned and operated by German Córdoba and his family have consistently ranked among the finest Colombian coffees we have had the pleasure of tasting over the past three years. This selection from 2020 is a single-variety lot harvested from Don German’s red and yellow tabi trees. In 2019, another tabi lot from this farm achieved well deserved fame by winning 1st place in the inaugural Copa Suaceña competition.
This tabi variety selection from German Córdoba’s 2020 harvest is the fourth microlot from this remarkable producer that Passenger has purchased to date. In 2018, just as we were pursuing the beginnings of a foundational partnership with a producer group from the tiny Colombian hamlet of Divino Niño, our green buying team purchased two individual separations from his main harvest. One of these initial coffees served as a delicious component of Keystone, and one was ultimately featured as an archival release on the Reserve Lot menu. Things got even more interesting the following year when another tabi selection from Don German’s farm, La Morelia, was awarded first place in the inaugural Copa Suaceña.
The Copa Suaceña is a regional cupping competition, organized by our friends and sourcing partners at Osito Coffee, that was created to identify and recognize the highest quality coffees produced each year by farmers of the Divino Niño community. In December 2019, two members of Passenger’s team travelled to Colombia to participate as judges at the inaugural competition, and over the course of three days, the small panel of judges blindly evaluated a carefully screened selection of 24 lots, narrowing the entries down to the top 10 coffees, and then re-cupped the top 10 again on the last day to ultimately determine the final ranking. Given the exceptional quality of coffees we had tasted from earlier harvests at La Morelia, we were far from surprised, and very pleased, to hear German Córdoba’s name read out as the overall winner. After the results of the competition had been announced at a community gathering attended by all the producers, our sourcing team had the distinct pleasure of continuing the celebration with the whole Córdoba family (German and his wife have nine children and many grandchildren!) in their home at La Morelia.
The Coronavirus pandemic changed everything just a few short months after that memorable trip. While it has, as of yet, been impossible to return to Colombia and visit our friends and partners in Divino Niño, we continue to feel connected each time we receive fresh crop samples from their farms. This particular lot from German Córdoba’s Spring 2020 harvest, is yet another stellar expression of his beloved tabi trees. While more time remains before our next opportunity to visit in person, the continued excellence of the coffees from La Morelia serves as an ongoing testament to the skill and dedication of this remarkable coffee farming family.