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Behind the Beans: Colombia Belen Organic

We’re incredibly proud of our coffee products, and we believe that the rich history of the beans’ origins only enhances the already delicious flavours, so we started our Behind the Beans blog series to celebrate where some of our favourite single origens come from. This instalment is all about a small sub-municipality called Belen in the Inzá region of Colombia, where our Colombia Belen Organic is produced by a community of small holder coffee producers.

No coffee shop menu would be complete without an authentic and bold Colombian single origen. Our Colombia Belen Organic is medium bodied, with rich caramel, orange and hazelnut flavours combining with floral and complex berry notes to create a truly unique coffee perfect for a moment to yourself at any time of day.

We found this coffee through our good friends at Pergamino. Like all producers in Colombia, Pergamino spent many years helplessly riding the roller coaster of international coffee prices, which mean they were often investing in their crops knowing that they were likely to get very little in return. They often sold their coffee to large exporters, never fully knowing where the coffee they produced wound up, or the real value of it. When they began selling their coffee directly to importers and roasters, however, everything changed. Pergamino found themselves having a greater understanding of the unique sensory notes of different coffee blends, as well as its true value, and they extended this knowledge to smallholder farmers – including those in the area of Cauca, where the municipality of Inzá, and its sub-municipality Belen, are located.

Looking over the Pacific Ocean and nestled on the Colombian Plateau, Inzá is a stunning vista of wildlife, as well as having perfect conditions for growing coffee. Belen is a small area within Inzá, where 40 local smallholder coffee producers work together to create the Colombia Belen Organic we now know and love. What really makes this coffee stand out is that it was one of the first from the region to be certified as entirely organic, ensuing the quality of the coffee.

Working with Pergamino means that the smallholder farmers are part of an open and transparent business community, where profit margins and value are made clear and available at all times. These relationships between Pergamino and the smallholders are built over time, through commitment, transparency and invaluable feedback on quality. Pergamino also shares a great deal of training with the smallholders they work with to help them better control and monitor their own produce.

Recently, a new project has been launched in the same municipality as Belen where Pergamino have supplied funding and support for a small warehouse and cupping lab, which helps the local farmers take more control over what they produce, and learn more about the industry with the support of an experienced logistics and sourcing partner.

Companies like Pergamino are invaluable in the future of organic coffee, as they encourage knowledge and quality that will further stabilise the coffee industry, making life considerably easier and more secure for small coffee producers, as well as playing a large part in sourcing the highest quality of coffee from the ones who know it best – the farmers themselves.

You can buy some of this delicious coffee for yourself here.

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