Alto Cabayul is a Colombian coffee that comes to us from the magical roaster of Case Study Coffee Roasters in Portland, OR. If you want this coffee you can order it by telephone and they will send it to you, but they are not set up for e-commerce at this moment in time. Use the phone, they are nice people!
Alto Cabayul come from the farm of Jairo Quinayas, which is located in the Huila region of Colombia. Huila produces a lot of coffee… A little over 16% of Colombia’s total coffee production comes from Huila and over 103,000 people in the region depend directly on coffee for their work. Almost all of it comes from small farms with an average size of 1.5 hectares. That means there are a lot of small farms in that area and you don’t always know a ton about them! Case Study discovered Jairo and his Alto Cabayul coffee, which is comprised of Caturra and Colombia varietals that are fully washed, during a trip to Colombia in June 2014.
I prepared several Gino drippers (basically a Kalita Wave) using my usual 15:1 ratio and I also had it as an AeroPress using the right-side-up method mentioned in the link below my logo at the top of the page. The AeroPress (paper filter) was a little muddy and less clarified and not quite as bright as the Ginos were.
I got lots of fruit off of this coffee immediately after brewing, almost like a natural Ethiopian coffee! That “almost-natural” character stuck with this coffee throughout the cups I tested. The sweetness had a strawberry jam quality to it while there was also bright acidity in this coffee that really attacked my cheeks in the later half of each sip. The acidity had some lime characteristics for me, and so it made me laugh when I got an email from Rachel at Case Study that said they thought this coffee tastes like “strawberry limeade!”
Make no mistake, this is definitely coffee, still, but it’s bright and fruity and the flavor profile is pretty amazing considering this is a fully washed Colombian coffee! Having had so much experience with La Palma Y El Tucan’s coffees over the past few months I was picking up hints that I associate with lactic fermentation, too, so I would be curious to know how Jairo washes his coffee. That can often be tough information to discern because farmers in Colombia often say one thing and do something else when it comes to processing, so you just never really know!
What I do know is that this is another stellar coffee from my pals at Case Study who prove to me over and over and over again just how great they are at bringing coffee from the bag to my cup!