Fast becoming a shining star and beacon of innovation in Colombia, El Vergel has an enviable reputation for being a go to farm for barista competition coffees. The reason is the farm, led by brothers Elias and Shady Bayter, produces flavourful and dynamic coffees that represent the change that has happened in Colombia with the modern approach to processing and coffee quality.
A large focus of El Vergel’s focus is in pushing the boundaries of how coffee is described and sold. The farm is large for Colombia, at around 400 hectares, and split into different plots. This segmentation could be based on one of the 11 different cultivars on the farm, or on an approach to processing taken with a plot. These processes have very unique names, based on sensory profile first and foremost, with cultivar coming second.
The Caturra selection exemplifies this approach. Grown in a plot enveloped by guava trees and aptly named ;Guava Banana, it has bundles of tropical fruit flavours of guava, banana and other ripe delicious tropical fruits. Achieving this profile involves a meticulous process, including a half-day aerobic fermentation followed by a longer 5-day anaerobic fermentation in steel tanks. Careful month-long drying completes the process, resulting in a lively, fruit-forward coffee ideal for filter or aeropress brewing methods.
Beyond the prominent flavours of ripe banana, guava, and cherry, lie intricate layers that demonstrate Elias and Shady's craftsmanship. Robust tropical fruit notes of mango and strawberry, zesty orange citrus, cacao, and a subtle honeyed undertone create a complex flavor profile. Beyond the main flavours of ripe banana, guava and cherry there are layers of complexity that showcase Elias and Shady’s deft touch and attention to detail. Bold tropical fruit notes of mango and strawberry, orange citrus, cacao and a honeyed back note. A warming hint of nutmeg and pepper spices on the finish leads to a smooth lactic aftertaste. The full and viscous mouthfeel adds a
harmonious counterpoint to the ripe fruit-forward elements.