Speciality Coffee

NEW - COLOMBIA: Finca El Nivel - Single Origin - 100% Arabica


Speciality Coffee

NEW - COLOMBIA: Finca El Nivel - Single Origin - 100% Arabica


  • We're back to Colombia, land of gutsy little climbers in the world of road cycling, great surnames and big hairdos for this sweet new arrival.

    From a small 5 hectare plot, grown high on the the slopes of Finca El Nival in the Rosaralda region, this is a lovely medium-bodied castillo varietal and is a pleasure to roast.

    Orange, chocolate and caramel notes make this a firm favourite with anyone boasting a great palate and those of you who have trouble distinguishing your artisan handmade cocao from a family pack of Twix. Come on, you potty-mouths, get stuck in.

    For more information on this coffee, schooch over to the "Nerd Zone" tab above.
  • COLOMBIA: Finca El Nivel

    Processing: Fully Washed & dried in guardiolas
    Altitude: 1680 -1,750 metres above sea level
    Owner: Flor de Apia SAS
    Region: Risaralda
    Country: Colombia
    Cup Profile: Orange, Chocolate caramel

    Additional information:

    Finca El Nivel was owned by Sr. Joel Ruiz for more than 30 years. Towards the end of his tenure, however, Don Joel left the farm somewhat under-attended due health problems that his wife was having. He felt the need to move with her to the city of Pereira (around 2 hours away) to undergo the treatment that she required. After the relocation, they found that they were unable to visit the farm with the frequency needed.

    The son of Don Joel, given the family situation decided to return from Pereira to work on the farm to attempt to recuperate and repair the damage that had been done, but with too few resources it was very difficult to get the farm back on track. In addition, he lacked awareness of the proper cultivation practices, and the farm accordingly began to suffer Phytosanitary problems. These situations led Don Joel to make the decision to sell the property.

    Pierre Dumont (cofounder of Flor de Apía SAS) who had already been working in the coffee industry for several years and who had recently acquired a neighbouring property (Finca Barcelona), decided to buy El Nivel in 2013. From that moment, he and his business partner, Mario Alexander, began the work of renovating and recovering unproductive and deteriorated coffee lots on the farm, and they began the implementation of a management plan for the maintenance and administration of all the producing lots on the farm.

    The recovery process of the coffee production system of El Nivel has been carried out by implementing new production practices, which have made it possible to obtain high quality coffee despite the farm’s considerable needs. Considering that the El Nivel farm was acquired in 2013 and that a great deal of work still needs to be done, a FiveYear Production Recovery and Stabilisation Plan has been structured that addresses a total of 5 lots. Four lots are maintained in production, and one is put into renewal, which guarantees new, healthy crops while still maintaining good levels of production.

    First trimester:
    • Integrated weed management, including eliminating aggressive weeds and conserving beneficial weeds to maintain the vegetal cover of soils and preventing erosion.
    • Fertilisation: the first cycle of application of the nutritional components to the crop is carried out according to the fertilisation needs of the plots.
    • Lot renewals are carried out according to crop management plans, including: Renewal by traditional pruning and renovation by bandola (fruit bearing stem) pruning

    • Seed was sown to establish a corn crop in the lots where the coffee renovations were carried out.

    Second trimester:
    • Collection of mitaca (fly crop) harvest.
    • Delivery of cherry coffee to Flor de Apía wet mill.
    • Phytosanitary control of pests and diseases of the coffee crop.

    Third trimester:
    • Second cycle of fertilisation according to the crop nutrition plan.
    • Cutting of suckers and selection of the sprouts in the lots renewed by pruning.
    • Integrated weed management and prevention of soil erosion.
    • Phytosanitary control of pests and diseases of the coffee crop.
    • Fertilization and Phytosanitary control of the cultivation of corn.

    Fourth trimester:
    • Collection of main harvest.
    • Delivery of cherry coffee to Flor de Apía wet mill.
    • Third cycle of fertilisation completed post-harvest collection
    • Last annual cycle of weed management
    • Corn harvest

    Flor de Apía S.A.S owns a wet mill locally, where they have installed top of the line equipment, Pinalese equipment that works to conserve the quality of the coffee, every step of the way. The company’s mill has their top of the line facilities at Finca Barcelona, just across the road from El Nivel. During the harvest seasons, every day coffee is collected there and moved in the afternoon to the mill.

    When the coffee reaches the mill, it is sorted by the Pinalese machines twice: first to remove stones and debris and then to remove any non-optimal cherries. The coffee is then pulped and fermented for around 15 hours. Flor de Apía keep strict records of every lot they process, and they have reported that this particular lot was dried in a vertical silo with an agitation system and whose heat source is the husk that results from threshing the coffee. Coffee is dried at around 40 degrees, very slowly (57 hours for this lot).

    About Flor de Apía
    Flor de Apía was established in 2010 by Mario Alexander and his then business partner (who has since retired). Mario – originally from Apía, Risaralda - was originally a welder by training. He spent time in France and Spain when he was younger, working in construction and as a gardener. After around one and a half years working in these trades in Europe, he received an offer from a gentleman for whom we was working to return to Colombia and source coffees and roast them for export to Spain. Mario jumped at the chance.

    The original business partner then retired shortly after. Mario was still committed, however, and he approached the best friend of his ex-partner, Pierre Dumont, a sea captain at the time. Pierre was looking for a change, and he agreed with Mario that there was more opportunity for importing green coffee. A plan was born!

    Mario purchased two neighbouring farms, Finca Barcelona and El Nivel, and established a wet and dry mill at Barcelona. Today, in addition to processing, roasting and exporting their own coffees, Flor de Apía buys cherry and wet coffee from 28 farmers in the municipality. The mill has 8 large capacity fermentation tanks, so they are able to keep individual lots separate, particularly where quality looks to be high. Their farmer-partners also grow a wide selection of varieties, from Maragogype and Castillo all the way to Geisha, Bourbon and Caturra. Flor de Apía makes every effort to encourage farmers to separate their lots by variety and promote rescuing the older varieties (such as Typica and Bourbon) to improve the quality of the region’s coffee.
    To get the very best from this coffee, why not try a pour-over. Perfect for Aeropress / Chemex / V60.


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