El Tambor, The Drum – In 2001, Victor Calderon traded his house for the rights to Finca El Tambor. At the time, the coffee C-Market was hovering around 50 cents/lb. Many doubted Victor’s choice to invest in coffee, but he saw the potential for growing specialty coffee in Palencia, given its high elevation coffee, balanced seasons, and nutrient-rich topsoil.
Since then, Victor has implemented a variety of biodynamic farming practices, which have contributed to El Tambor becoming one of the most acclaimed farms in the region. Varietals grown on the farm include Typica, Pink Bourbon, Yellow Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, and Pache.
There is something special about the clay found around Finca El Tambor. Several years ago, Victor Calderon noticed how coffee trees alongside the roads were combatting leaf-rust. Passing cars had kicked-up clay dust from the ground, coating the leaves of the trees. Victor theorized that the highly alkaline properties in the volcanic clay were acting as a natural fungicide against rust. Within 3 days of testing a clay-based spray on his farm, Victor observed that the rust had completely faded.
Victor now uses clay as a primary component in his Biodinámica Farming practices. He even created his own “F1” nursery, derived from trees that were successfully treated with clay throughout their productive life. In 2017, 10,000 of these F1s were planted at 1600 msl.
Farmer: Victor Calderon
Farm: El Tambor
Altitude: 1925 MSL
Taste: Blood orange, lime, butterscotch, dark chocolate
Aromatics: Orange, honey, dark chocolate
Recommended Brewing Methods:
19g in 300g out
3:45 – 4:15 min
Heavy notes of butterscotch hit you from the first sip, while in the background flavors of tangerine and milk chocolate slowly come forward for their time to shine. The body is heavy and coating while flavors of caramel are left lingering long after you taste. Finally as it cools, hints of lime and blood orange take a turn at the spotlight but the sweetness doesn’t let up.
- Toast with raw honey
- Fresh baked muffins
- A porch overlooking the sunrise