Standart + Bell Lane Coffee Issue #32

Before we dive into the fascinating tale of Los Castaño Coffee Farms, let's take a moment to uncover why we chose this exceptional coffee. 

Over the last years the current trends are leading to focus on special fermentation practices that often deliver the cup profile where fermentation is more pronounced than coffee itself. When selecting this Castillo our intention was to remind us that a beautiful crisp washed is still something that will always stay on top of our list.
 

In the world of specialty coffee, where dedication and passion converge, there are stories that stand out.  Brothers Alfredo and Eunilver Castaño’s journey is one etched with unwavering determination.

We are proud to introduce their exceptional coffee to the Standart community.
 
Producers: Alfredo & Eunilver Castaño  
Farms: El Recinto & El Futuro  
Municipality: Santuario 
Department: Risaralda 
Variety: Castillo  
Process: Washed, 360h Extended Fermentation  
Cup notes: Floral, Raspberry, Lemongrass, Caramel 
In the picturesque landscapes of Colombia's Santuario region lies a tale of resilience, dedication, and an unwavering passion for coffee. Meet Alfredo and Eunilver Castaño, the brothers behind the renowned Los Castaño coffee farms. Through adversity, conflict, and challenges, their journey has transformed barren lands into thriving coffee plantations. This is all while uplifting their community and producing exceptional coffee.

 

Alfredo and Eunilver Castaño's connection to coffee runs deep. From their earliest memories, they played among coffee plants, learning the art of cultivation from their parents. As youngsters, they embraced the traditions of planting and nurturing coffee, gaining an intimate understanding of the craft. At just twelve years old, they left school to support their family by working full-time on coffee farms. Despite the challenges, Alfredo continued his studies and eventually earned his Baccalaureate.
 
In 1995, the Castaño family purchased a plot of land, marking the birth of El Recinto farm, meaning 'Enclosure.' With relentless determination, they transformed rugged terrain into a conventional coffee farm. Through hard work, they built a wooden dwelling from harvested wood, nurturing both the land and their dreams. However, life had other plans, and the civil war in 1999/2000 forced them to leave their farm for nearly a year.
 
The civil war brought immense challenges. The dense forests that once surrounded farms became corridors for guerrilla movements, disrupting lives and businesses. Forced to flee the city of Pereira, the family endured loss and turmoil. During that time, Eunilver worked as a farm manager and saved diligently. With his savings and a small loan, he purchased a 20-acre coffee farm from his aunt, aptly named El Futuro, or 'The Future.' He restored the neglected land, and both brothers together began their coffee planting El Futuro became a symbol of rebirth, complete with a thriving coffee crop, a home for Eunliver's family, and advanced processing facilities for both of their farms.

 

In 2012, the brothers, along with local families, founded Asocafe Tatama, a collective of high-quality coffee producers.

This alliance aimed to enhance coffee value and uplift living standards through collaboration. With 95 families joining the association, their efforts gained momentum. The collaboration attracted Socodevi, an NGO, and Q Processing instructor Hernando Tapasco, who played a pivotal role in shaping the future.

 Under Hernando Tapasco's guidance, the Castaño brothers discovered new coffee processing techniques. Their pursuit of excellence led them to specialty coffee, where they could surpass commodity prices. Eunilver focused on production, while Alfredo became a Level 2 Q Professor at the Coffee Quality Institute. Their joint efforts honed their skills in fermentation, processing, and drying, resulting in remarkable coffees.

 

 

The story of Los Castaño coffee farms is a remarkable tale of triumph over adversity. Alfredo and Eunilver Castaño's unyielding passion, even in the face of conflict and challenges, has transformed their family's lands into flourishing coffee havens. Their dedication, unity, and commitment to quality have yielded exceptional coffee and inspired an entire community.

 

 

BREWING GUIDE

 

Pour-over V60 02 

  • Coffee to water/ratio: 22g coffee to 340g water 1:15.45 
  • Grind: Medium-fine grind. 20 clicks on Comandante, 7 on EK43 (1-11 dial) 
  • Water temperature:  96°C 
  • Method: Pre-rinse filter, bloom with 50g, at 30 sec pour up to 180g, at 1:15 pour up to 340g final weight.  
  • Brew time: 2:30 – 2:45 

 

French Press 

  • Coffee to water/ratio:  1:15  
  • Grind: Medium-fine grind. 20 clicks on Comandante, 7 on EK43 (1-11 dial) 
  • Water temperature:  97°C 
  • Method: Pour total volume, break the crust after 4:00 min, leave to sit and serve at 10:00  

 

 SHAKE-UP

Having just moved into our new roastery earlier this year, it seems the perfect time for a brand refresh.  Until the brand launch this October we will still send out coffee in our existing bags!