Gold Coffee is a collection of farmers from the community of Pitalito in Huila, Colombia. This is not an official cooperative but rather a collective of ambitious small farmers. These farmers, with the assistance of exporter Azahar Coffee, have blended their otherwise very small farm lots together to create a larger blend for roasters like JJ Bean.
The average farm size in Colombia is 1.5 hectares which means, in general terms, a farm will only produce around 5 bags of exportable coffee per crop cycle. This small amount of coffee limits the number of potential customers as lots of this size are not ideal for the more established specialty coffee roasters in Canada. By joining forces into a Collective, these small farmers can satisfy the market’s demand for a larger lot size, while maintaining the high standard of quality that is demanded by roasters like JJ Bean. These farms are then able to receive the quality premiums that these roasters are willing to pay them.
The coffee is fermented in the traditional Colombian style without water, in tiled tanks. Drying lasts between 15 and 20 days depending on the farm. The coffee is dried on Huila-style raised beds (mesh stretched across bamboo frames and raised about 12 inches off the ground), and African-style two-tiered drying beds.