La REB is a collective of small coffee growers, who share knowledge and grow together through innovative processing techniques. Together, they remove the middlemen and do their own exporting and importing, allowing for greater transparency and quality control through the whole process. Through doing this extra work they also receive a greater share of the profits, allowing them to invest more into their people and farms.
Lizardo Herrera is both an excellent coffee producer and a certified beekeeper, which he does both of on his farm in Palestina, Huila. This makes for a beautiful ecosystem. The bees benefit from the shade trees, and the lack of pesticides, and the coffee benefits from the pollination.
While he grows a wide variety of high-quality varieties on this farm, the one that that blew us away was his Pink Bourbon. This variety was found in Colombia and is thought to be a naturally occurring hybrid between yellow and red bourbon, which led to a cherry that ripens a pinkish-orange color. While Pink Bourbon has gained wide acceptance, others think this variety may actually be a natural mutation of the Colombia varietal. Since the shrub does not resemble the Bourbon variety but instead looks much more like the Colombia varietal. Hopefully, in the coming years we will have better genetic history of this variety to determine which one it is.
Whatever genetics this coffee has, it has led to some of the best cups that we have come across. It comes across as a mixture of Gesha and SL-28 with the bright citric acidities, florals of Gesha and then deep, dark fruits and heavy sweetness from SL-28. Truly incredible.
Lizardo took this highly flavorful varietal and added complexities through his fermentation techniques. Taking a page from Ana Mustafa’s play book (another La REB member and good friend), he did a fed-batch washed process. This is where they selectively pick the highest ripeness coffee of the day and pile it, then the next day they do the same, and add to the pile. They did this for a total of four days, meaning the first day’s pick gets a total of 96 hours of fermentation and the last day gets none. This gives you a cup that has both the clean and bright flavor profile of a normal washed coffee and the winey and heavily fruited cup of a long fermentation coffee.
Producer: Lizardo Herrera
Farm: La REB
Region: Palestina, Huila
Varietal: Pink Bourbon
Aromatics: Guava, Orange Zest, Strawberry Jam, Dried Fruit
Taste: Raspberry, Plum, Molasses, , Citrus Zest, Jam, Winey
Body: Medium/ Syrupy
Recommended Brewing Methods:
Fellow Stagg [X]
22g in, 350g out
2:10 – 2:25 minutes
205 f temperature
50 gram pour, pick up brewer and spin 3 times
Pour from 50 grams to 200 grams, starting at 30 seconds and ending your pour at 50 seconds (7.5 gram per second, pour rate)
Let fully drain should be between 1:15-1:30
1:15 – 1:30
Pour from 200 grams to 350 grams, starting at 1:15-1:30 and ending your pour at 1:35-1:50 (7.5 gram per second, pour rate)
Let drain completely
Drain should end between 2:10 – 2:25 minutes or brew to taste
Recommended Espresso Recipe:
Classic 9 bar recipe
20g in, 65g out (22 gram basket)
200 f temperature