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Field Report: Colombia & Mexico 2016

Five Senses CoffeeJacob Ibarra 4 January 2017

It’s funny, but the end of the calendar year does not mean slowing down for most people; in fact, it seems to be a frantic time of getting ready for the holidays. This year was even busier than usual for me as I spent most of December on the road.

The majority of my time overseas was spent in Colombia. There is simply so much to see and so much happening in this producing origin that it was hard to fit everything in, even with the extended amount of time I had there.

However, I can confidently say this – Colombia is primed to become a specialty coffee darling in the years to come.

It has always had an array of micro-climates and growing regions which obviously contribute to its unique flavour profiles, and the varied harvest times during the year mean the country offers fresh coffee all year round! But this year I saw an onslaught of non-traditional varietals being planted, varietals such as wush wush, pink bourbon, mokka, sl28 and the list goes on. Furthermore, I also saw a willingness to experiment and process coffee using the natural method, which is far from normal for this country. Combine new varietals and processing techniques with the God-given variety of micro-climates and it is easy to see why Colombia is gearing up for some exciting years ahead.

Next up was Mexico and, more specifically, the southern Chiapas region. Last year we purchased coffee from the Mexican region of Veracruz for the first time. However due to unforeseen complications, this relationship will not continue. So this trip was a fantastic opportunity to branch out and explore new territory and farms.

December marks the period of the harvest where coffee is just ripe enough to be delivered to the wet mills which is always an exciting time.

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit a number of bigger estates and believe that at least one will transpire into a working relationship for the next year. If you’re not familiar with the Chiapas profile, then let me help; think big chocolate and cocoa notes with a touch of orange citrus which helps add some complexity and balance out the coffee.

Enjoy the photos!

Good to be back on #FincaElRecuerdo in Colombia with Elias Roa! ^JI #goodpeoplemakegoodcoffee #FSCorigins #ColombianCoffee

A photo posted by Five Senses Coffee (@5sensescoffee) on

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