Coffee review: Caribou Colombia Timaná

by on August 21, 2008

Plainspoken Coffee. A Coffee Review for Ordinary People by Ordinary People, #38.

Pursuant to our backgrounder on Colombia, here’s another review of a Colombian coffee, one which is quite readily available, Caribou Coffee Colombia Timaná.

This is Caribou’s regular Colombian offering. It is Rainforest Alliance certified (100% of the beans), and comes from the the area near the southern town of Timaná  in the Huila department (coordinates 1.983,-75.95). It is primarily of the Caturra variety, and grown at 1600 meters.

Caribou sources this coffee from a cooperative called Asociacion de Productores Agricolas de Timaná or ASPROTIMANA. In late 2005 ASPROTIMANA started the process towards Rainforest Alliance (RA) certification, with 26 growers participating. Now all 52 members (with 53 farms averaging about 6 ha) have received RA certification. As I mentioned in the previous post, there are many growing areas in Colombia at high altitude in which clouds provide shade. Growing coffee under additional cover in these areas creates problems with very low yields and sometimes issues with pathogens such as fungi.  Farmers in these areas often preserve adjacent forest plots. This is the case with the ASPROTIMANA growers. Almost 250 ha are in coffee grown in semi-shade (fulfilling RA requirements of 70 trees per ha of a dozen species), with another 35 ha being set aside for conservation.

This was a light roast with a really pleasant aroma; one taster found it “buttery and complex.” This was a very nice middle-of-the-road coffee, and we agree with Caribou when it says that it is “the perfect beginner’s coffee” or “perfect everyday coffee.” I have to say that (in keeping with making coffee like an ordinary person) that I prepared it one day in a French press a bit too strong. It was even better like this: more richly-bodied and robust, another reviewer that day described it as “resonant.” Another was extremely enthusiastic and rushed down the hall, cup in hand, to my office to ask me what he was drinking. We gave this coffee 3.5 motmots.

In 2007, Coffee Review gave it 88 points. It’s also one of the coffees available in several of Caribou’s Roastmaster’s Choice Clubs.

I also tried the Colombia Timaná Reserve, one of Caribou’s Origins Select coffees. It is from the same producers, but only from 6 select growers. This was also very nice coffee, but I honestly could not detect a significant difference from the regular Timaná, although more discerning tasters might very well be able to. Anyway, kudos to Caribou for this tasty, sustainable selection.

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Revised on January 20, 2011

Posted in Caribou Coffee,Coffee reviews,Latin America,Retail and specialty roasters

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