Past

Castilla-San Carlos

Venezuela Coffee Co.
Arabica
Orange
Hazelnut
Cane sugar

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Origin
Venezuela
Producer
Finca San Carlos / Alejandro Garcia
Variety
Castilla
Process type
Fully washed
Altitude range
1050m - 1140m
Harvest period
October, 2022 - February, 2023
Seller's cupping score (SCA)
83.75 points
Updated April, 2023
ID
VE-4-202210

"Fragrance and sweet flavor of panela, orange, and hazelnut with a prolonged and dry aftertaste. Medium and citrus acidity with a medium body. A well balanced coffee." - Venezuela Coffee Co., April, 2023

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The coffee story

The Garcia family began planting coffee in the early 1800s in the neighboring Andean state of Tachira, Venezuela. During the 1960s, Dr. Jose Vicente Garcia returned from Germany and settled in the city of Merida, Venezuela (Venezuelan Andes). Here, in addition to his academic research at the local university, he developed a 60-hectare property in the Andean village of El Castillo (1,150 meters above sea level) near Santa Cruz de Mora Merida. "San Carlos de Bella Vista" soon became a reference and one of the leading coffee-producing states in the region.

It is worth noting that this region, due to its exceptional geographical location and unique climatological conditions, was historically known for producing some of the best coffees in the world, known as "Merida coffees." Sadly, during the early 1990s, a period of economic turmoil and lack of support for agriculture led to a crisis that deeply affected coffee growers. As a result, most of the plantations were abandoned or cut down.

Despite adversities, including the unexpected demise of Dr. Jose Vicente, the Garcias remained resilient and managed to keep the plantation going until 2003.

Then, in 2016, Alejandro, his sons, and his brother Gustavo, partnering with Luis Andrade (APROCANDES), foreseeing a growing demand for environmentally friendly and specialty coffees, with sustainable agroforestry practices, decided it was the right time to turn the cattle pastureland back to its origins: planting coffee and reforesting with trees to shade the plantation and support climate change mitigation. This adventure has motivated neighboring farmers to consider coffee as a viable and more rewarding alternative than other agricultural activities. As a result, some have reached out to Alejandro for advice and have begun reestablishing Arabica coffee on their lands. This not only leads to excellent quality coffee with great potential to conquer international markets once again but also represents part of the solution to improve social standards and the living quality of the local community. At present, they are looking for ways to directly position their coffees in Europe. Since 2018, they have been sending samples to different "Q-grading labs" in the EU and the USA, with resulting sensory analysis scores averaging 84.

In 2022, thanks to the advice of their friend Ing. Bart Pauwels, a relevant contact with the Dutch ACORN platform (acorn.rabobank.com), which supports small farmers throughout the globe willing to migrate from eco-unfriendly agricultural practices toward implementing a more diverse, resilient, and sustainable-oriented agriculture, the Garcias are exploring agroforestry-coffee. This approach has several benefits to the environment, family economy diversification, and improved coffee quality. Farmers can share up to 80% of the revenue generated by the sale of carbon credits negotiated on the market by ACORN. For those who directly trade the coffee, they can obtain tremendous benefits by purchasing an outstanding quality coffee that has been produced under environmentally conscious practices, which could contribute to mitigating their own CO2 emissions quotas and complying with the new EU laws (Green Deal and Supply chain traceability). In summary, the Garcia family and their partner Luis Andrade (APROCANDES) are committed to encouraging and helping local coffee growers to recover the local environment, contributing to a healthier planet, and improving their own living standards.

The process

Fully Washed, Mechanical Depulped and Demucilaging, Sun Dried.