La Cristalina Blend
La Cristalina Blend – Data Sheet
– Coffee Name: La Cristalina Blend Washed
– Grade: Excelso
– Country: Colombia
– Region: Caldas
– Farm: La Cristalina
– Altitude: 1.650 m.a.s.l
– Varieties: Caturra – Bourbon – Castillo
– Drying: Slow-dried
– Processing: Washed
– Fermentation: 18hrs in cherrie and 48hrs pulped
– Notes: Caramel, Vanilla, Red Fruits and Sugar Cane
– SCA Score: >86
La Cristalina is located in Vereda Bajo Español, in the municipality of Chinchina. Its 21 hectares reach between 1460 and 1790 masl, with 4.1 hectares dedicated to an environmental reserve. The three Valdes family farms; Parana, La Cristalina, and San Pablo—are highly technified properties, with admirable levels of production thanks to their combined total of 421,000 trees, 142,000 of which grow on Finca La Cristalina. Each year portions of the farm are replanted, always keeping in mind biodiversity and the environment. Coffee is washed and de-pulped at the ecological mill, where the pulp is placed in a compost treatment to be converted to organic fertilizer for the coffee trees.
Coffee cultivation complements a system of regulated shade with tree species, including walnut, red cedar, and guava, which create habitats for many species of birds. Finca Cristalina plants black cedar, a tree at risk for extinction, from its own nursery in the coffee fields.
Parana is the oldest of the three farms and has been in the family for more than one hundred years, today belonging to the fourth generation. Silvio Valdes was the original owner, and upon his death, his property was left to his five children, some of whom sold their portions. But, beginning
in 1960, the sold portions were re-purchased and by 1999 the full family legacy had been recuperated. In 2006, to continue the coffee growing tradition, San Pablo and La Cristalina were added to Parana.
Producer Luis Jose Valdes carries on the family tradition with Café Cuatro Generaciones, the umbrella company for the three farms. The name references the four generations of his family that has been involved in coffee production. The post-harvest registration system on the farm permits full traceability of each lot.
Caldas is one of Colombia’s principal coffee-growing Departments. Along with neighboring Risaralda and Quindío, it forms part of the “coffee axis” or “coffee triangle,” indicating the important of coffee activities; from research to social support programs to freeze drying to dry milling; that take place in the area, which is in turn part of the Coffee Cultural Landscape, recognized by UNESCO as a World Coffee Cultural Heritage site.
Caldas’ rolling landscape is defined by slopes planted with coffee. High, chilly cities and towns sit along mountain ridges, where smallholder farms and mid-sized estates are planted with predominantly monoculture coffee, protected from the excess sun by the region’s near-constant misty cloud cover. Many programs of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation have their official seats in Caldas, including the Cenicafe research facility.
Many farms in Caldas are comparatively accessible by the main road, facilitating the speed of processing and export. The Department is home to many respected universities and coffee producers have access to many business and education resources.
La Cristaline Blend Process
The Cristalina Blend is a washed blend of Caturra, Bourbon, and Castillo. After selecting and carefully handpicking in the field, the ripest cherries are taken for the floating process to remove the non-dense coffee cherries and coffee tree leaves that start floating.
This lot was fermented in cherry for 18 hours, and after de-pulping, it goes for its second stage of fermentation for another 48 hours. The coffee is then mechanically dried slowly over the course of ten days.