RNY On Location: Sourcing Our Huila Colombia Coffee

This past February, RNY’s Mike Ward & Camilo Yubank had the opportunity to travel to Colombia! In this first half of our two-part Colombia origin series, Mike shares how they spent time with Cuatro Vientos, visited their lab/drying station, and traveled through Santa Maria, one of our primary sources for Huila Colombia coffee.

view of a Huila Colombia coffee farm
Finca Palma Rosa

Sourcing our Huila Colombia Coffee

Yonaton González, CEO of Cuatro Vientos

At Royal New York, forming relationships is at the heart of what we do. Over the years, we’ve met some amazing people that we can fortunately call both partners and friends. We can always share a laugh over some incredible coffee, and we look forward to every conversation we get to have.

In February, we were lucky enough to spend time with people that fall into this special group: Cuatro Vientos. We visited their lab/dry mill in Campoalegre, their updated coffee shop, and we spent time in the town of Santa Maria. In fact, we source much of our Huila Colombia coffee from there.

Located between 1,500-1,600masl, Santa Maria produces some incredibly rich and sweet coffees with the aid of a rich, volcanic soil. Furthermore, regional blends from this town typically have cupping notes of peach, apple, and cane sugar. While the region naturally provides these sweeter notes, Yonatan and Julián González of Cuatro Vientos continuously improve the overall cup quality.

Yellow Caturra plant at Finca Santa Rosa

When they purchase from local producers, Yonatan and Julián sort through the delivered parchment to ensure that the coffee is of the right density and screen sizes. Moreover, their QC team utilizes an intensive cupping routine. This is in effort to determine what coffees work for their regional blends vs. their micro lot program. During our visit, we had the opportunity to cup through the individual components of each regional blend. This allowed us to learn what makes these lots consistently excellent and unique.

Finca Palma Rosa

While in Santa Maria, we had lunch with Victor Chala. He operates Finca Palma Rosa, a farm that sits at 2,000masl. His farm was organized, well-managed, and filled with coffees of the Caturra variety. That being said, he was excited to show us a few experimental Catuai trees among the Yellow and Red Caturra plants. Positioned at some of the highest points of Finca Palma Rosa, these trees are expected to start producing in a few years. In fact, they already had some sweet and juicy cherries on them! Victor explained that this plant isn’t commonly found in the area. This is a new project for him, and he looks forward to seeing it through to the end.

Huila Colombia coffee being de-pulped
Coffee being de-pulped for a regional blend

Exploring Cuatro Vientos’ Coffee Lab

At the Huila Colombia coffee lab, we had the opportunity to cup some truly incredible micro lots from the region. This was due in part to how Cuatro Vientos supports experimentation at the farm level. Though there were a few tables of washed offerings that scored very well, the anaerobic coffees were breathtaking. These lots showcased notes of everything, ranging from pineapple and papaya to butterscotch and blueberries.

However, there was one particular lot that caught our eye: a Honey Anaerobic Geisha from producer Jhon Samboni. This absolutely stunning coffee had a beautiful tropical profile that we couldn’t get enough of, and we’re happy to say that we’ll be offering it soon on the Royal NY Line Up. We’ve previously purchased coffee from Jhon, so we’re very excited to have some more instore in the upcoming months.

Cuatro Vientos & the Huila Colombia Coffee Community

In addition to exporting, Cuatro Vientos has been expanding their coffee shop’s footprint in Neiva, a town in the department of Huila. Not only does their shop fuel the community every morning, they also use it as an educational tool to help people understand what makes a great coffee. Their shelves are full of unique micro lots, including Geishas, Pacamaras, Pink Bourbons, and more.

At the start of every day, we would visit this shop. It was nice to see the locals stop in for a cup of coffee and friendly conversation before starting their workday. As buyers, this was an important moment for us to see how Cuatro Vientos understands the value of both the producer and the consumer.

Truthfully, we are beyond grateful to have amazing partners like Yonatan and Julián. We look forward to sharing a coffee with them again soon!

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