Aracely Vitonco - Jambalo - Cauca - Castillo, Colombia

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Location:Voladro, Jambalo, Cauca

Altitude: 1,892 metersabove sea level

Varieties: Castillo

Process: Fully-washed Drying Sun-dried on patios

Harvest: April - June

Last year's harvest in Colombia came up nearly dry for top lots, thanks to disastrous weather patterns and a host of other misfortunes. That's one reason we're especially thrilled to see one from a small producer in Cauca on our Aces list today!  This producer offers a perfect example of what Cauca is capable of when the stars align: Big acidity, creamy body, mature sweetness, and popping fruit flavors of tropical fruit, apples, and green grape. 

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Tasting notes: Syrupy sweetness with intense fruit acidity and a creamy mouthfeel; intense caramelized sugar and chocolate flavors with tropical fruit, apple, lime, lemon and honey flavor.

 Aracely Vitonco says, "I consider myself a blessed person because I was born in a coffee producing family." She has been helping her mother sow and grow coffee plants since Aracely was 8 years old, and she grew up helping her family harvest and care for the cherries during the busy season. After marriage, she and her husband decided to continue farming coffee to support their family, and hopes that her children will continue the family tradition.

Finca Los Mangos is a 2.5-hectare farm, 2 hectares of which are planted in coffee—10,000 trees, a mix of Colombia and Castillo cultivars. The coffee is picked ripe (purple cherries for the Castillo, and bright red Colombia cherries), depulped that same afternoon, and dry fermented for 18 hours. Then it is washed four times and laid out in parabolic dryers for 8–10 days, depending on the weather. Aracely focuses on quality, and describes herself as "very strict" about the picking: Only ripe cherries will do, and she is specific about the visual appearance of ripe Castillo versus ripe Colombia.