Exceedingly Rare Colombia Finca El Paraíso Set
2 Colombia coffees that rattle our expectations
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For our Exceedingly Rare program, we hunt for coffees that shatter our expectations of what’s possible—and taste maybe even just a little bit wild. When we tried these two last year, we knew we had to find a place for them. We couldn’t get them out of our heads. We’ve long respected Colombia for its devotion to consistent, high-quality coffee. Now it’s turning out some of the most unusual and buzzworthy coffees in the world. Diego Samuel Bermudez Tapia of Finca El Paraíso is moving the needle on coffee processing. While most coffee is fermented using native yeasts in the air, he works like a craft beer brewer, adding specific yeasts to some of his coffees, which can bring out new flavors. He’s also on the leading edge of a trend in Colombia toward anaerobic fermentation. Like a mad scientist, he takes the processing a step further, using a proprietary machine to control drying temperatures and times with absolute precision. He names his experimental coffees after the flavors they evoke. These two coffees show how processing can make the same coffee taste utterly, gorgeously distinctive. Both are made from the same cultivar and grown on the same farm. But Lemon Lime is more citric with a tea-like body and floral notes, almost like an exaggerated version of the best coffees from Ethiopia’s Yirgacheffe region. The Red Plum tastes almost as sweet as hard candy, with tropical and stone fruit flavors. It’s thrilling to taste them side by side.