'THE NINERS SERIES #8' - MIGUEL FAJARDO
Once complete, this project will provide the region's farmers with the possibility to have far greater control over their coffee quality, and income security through a fixed price payment system. We think that this kind of investment in accessible infrastructure is one of the steps required to make good on the promise of development through trade.
In support of the project, Kick-starter backers were able to choose from a selection of rewards, from a tree planted in their name, right up to an entire variety lot. Some backers chose a raw green coffee reward, which has been growing on these mature trees right up until this past harvest. For these trees, which were already in production at El Fénix (Castillo), the main harvest was pushed back by sporadic and heavy rainfall. The rains also held back construction of the mill, but with the help of a temporary drying station, we have seen over 10,000kg of cherry-picked, fermented, processed, dried, milled and shipped worldwide, of which you're either drinking or about to drink!
El Fénix farm is nestled at 1,680 - 1,800 metres above sea level near the town of Calarcá, in the department of Quindío, in Colombia. It faces west toward the Cauca Valley and the central mountain range. The farm has ideal climate conditions for coffee production, with a high sun reflection off of the valley, and an average rainfall 2.275 mm a year. The main harvest comes in from April to July, with a fly crop from November through December. Natural spring falls provide water for all the farm's needs. The soil is mainly volcanic, and in some areas, Red California worms are wriggling through and aerating the soil. All weeding is done by hand, and no herbicides have ever been used on the farm, enabling microbial and fungi activity to let loose!
The past six months have seen enormous change through a lot of hard work on the farm. It was transformed entirely, with 12,000 coffee trees planted across 6 hectares; and this mighty number of seedlings is also growing alongside a varied range of other plants. Growing diverse species of plants allows for improved shade, mineral contributions to the soil, attracting beneficial animals, provides edible foodstuffs, and creates other forms of income for the farm.
The story of El Fenix is by no means complete, and in reality, the work has only just begun. From the whole team at Caravan Coffee Roasters, we'd like to thank you for your support, friendship, and loyalty! In the meantime, please feel free to follow the project on Instagram, and follow the blog at @ www.elfenix.coffee.
El Fenix has been roasted to suit both espresso and filter brewing. For filter brewing, we recommend using a ratio of 6g of freshly ground coffee, per 100ml of boiled, filtered water. If you like it slightly stronger, add an extra gram or two, and adjust to taste. For espresso, we recommend a dose of 18g, to a yield of 34/36g, aiming for a total extraction time of 30 seconds. If you like your espresso syrupy, strive for a prolonged extraction time, maintaining the same brewing parameters mentioned above. For more clarity, stick to the recipe, or even shorten the extraction time to highlight the acidity.