Smiths - Colombia
Smiths is one of the less well known roasters, but is a real foundation of the UK coffee scene.
Colin Smith took over his grandfather's company (founded 1936) from his father in 1979 after 13 years teaching. He expanded the company into speciality coffees & teas and moved from Mill Hill to Hemel Hempstead in 1997
Colin was also a founder member of Speciality Coffee Association of Europe in 1998 and president from 2005-2007. Colin takes trips to coffee origins through SCAE -normally 4 per year and is in the third year of a scheme to train prisoners in a voluntary role leading to SCAE Barista Foundation Level qualification. Now involving 2 prisons.
Raphael (CEO of Algrano) first met Colin in Brazil, 5 years ago so it was a real pleaseure to start working with his head of coffee, Lee to bring in some of their microlot coffees. We are working on many origins together now, with some lots like this being bought in full by Smiths so you won't find this coffee from any other roaster in the world!
The coffee is a microlot from Finca El Sauce in Northern Colombia.
This is the story of the farm by Hilda Mejia
When my husband Alvaro was little he lived in Tolima. Life was tough, but the coffee farms were always good places to live in and work. They had water, sanitary sewers and light.
Farmers had status. This had such an impact on Alvaro on his childhood that he decided that one day he would be a coffee farmer too.
Granja El Sauce is a dream come true for him and also for me. Alvaro grew up to be an agronomist and I worked as a systems engineer. We lived in San Gil for most of our adult life but wanted to move to the countryside to be close to nature.
We run El Sauce as a fully organic farm and have been certified for years, even at times when the premiums were not that good.
We believe it is important to take good care of our surroundings and adopt an ecological and sustainable approach. Recently we have been changing our post-harvest processing protocols to improve the cup quality of our coffees.
We try to help our neighbors, all coffee farmers, towards a more ethical style of farming.
Farm size 10 Ha
Employees count 0-5
Foundation year 2003
Harvest period:- November - January
Altitude range:- 1840m - 1860m
Highest grade:- 87
Amount of coffee trees:- 17500
Average annual production:- 90 Bags of 60kg
Arabica varieties:- Castillo, Colombia, Tabi & Gesha
About The Coffee
Bean Type:- Arabica
From Altitude:- 1840 - 1860 meters above sea level.
Harvested in December, 2019
Taste Profile:- Cherry, Fruity, Plum, Stonefruit, Winey, Lingering & Smooth.
Price Per Kg = £31.50p per Kg
This organic honey nano-lot is called Uva because we only use the ripest of cherries from our farm. They are not bright red, but of a winey color, and the level of sweetness of the cherry is very high. As we don't have a big tank on the farm to help us remove floaters we use a small container. We always have two members of staff manually cleaning the coffee from green or overripe beans, a process that is time consuming but very precise. Each lot is made of several batches of ripe "uvas" and each batch is the result of no more than 2 days pickings. After cleaning, the batches are taken to a closed barrel to rest and de-pulped after 48 hours. As the de-pulping process always happens around 5 pm we leave the coffee fermenting in mucilage inside a tank until the next day at 7 am. In the morning, we lay the beans thinly on modules lined with a mesh fabric. These modules are mobile, so we can either put them inside marquesinas or expose them on the sun to dry. If the weather is good this lot takes 5 days to dry under the sun.