This 2019 offering from producer Marlenis Imbachi is a beautiful example of Pink Bourbon, a relatively rare variety capable of producing amazing cup quality.
On the nose, the 2019 Marlenis Imbachi is rich and warming, while remaining delicate in overall character: look for aromatics of cocoa, graham cracker, marzipan, and mild florals. The coffee is bright and tea-like in the cup with tart flavors of stone fruit and citrus, and a clean wafer cookie quality on the finish.
Over the past two years, Passenger’s sourcing efforts in Colombia have been largely focused on building our foundational partnership with the producers of Divino Niño, a small hamlet near the town of Suaza, Huila. Huila is one of Colombia’s 32 Departments, which are not too dissimilar in political structure and general appearance to our States. Of these 32 departments, 19 produce coffee: Antioquia, Boyacá, Caldas, Cauca, Cesar, Caquetá, Casanare, Cundinamarca, Guajira, Huila, Magdalena, Meta, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Quindío, Risaralda, Santander, Tolima and Valle. Of these 19, Cauca, Nariño, Tolima, and Huila are arguably the most famous for producing top quality specialty coffee.
Years before identifying the Divino Niño producer group as a community with which we wanted to pursue a primary and long term partnership, Passenger’s green buying team had already spent considerable time in southern Huila, and we proudly continue to support some of the producers with whom we have a long association in the region. This is the third consecutive year that we have bought coffee from Marlenis Imbachi, a producer from the charming town of San Augustín, located approximately 56 miles to the west of Suaza.
San Agustín, which currently has a population of roughly 34,000 people, was officially founded in 1752 but has historical roots that go back much further. The area is home to the San Agustín Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that contains the largest collection of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in Latin America and is considered the world's largest necropolis.
Passenger’s first offering from Marlenis Imbachi was a tiny 50 lb. lot from her 2017 harvest. It was the first example of Pink Bourbon that Passenger had purchased and selections from Marlenis’ 2019 and 2020 harvests that we are now releasing feature this intriguing variety as well. Pink Bourbon is an interesting Arabica variety that is fairly high-yielding and relatively disease resistant. Due to its cup profile, which is often characterized by intensely fruited flavors and juicy acidity, it seems plausible that Pink Bourbon is closely related to some sort of Ethiopian landrace variety, though, as far as we are aware, this has yet to be established by genetic testing. Whatever its precise genetic lineage, Marlenis Imbachi’s Pink Bourbon is a simply delightful coffee and we are excited to release selections from her 2018/19 and 2019/20 harvests simultaneously this year.