The Inga community of Aponte is comprised of descendants of the ancient, pre- hispanic Incas. During the period of conquest, they remained isolated high in the mountains that became their natural refuge. This community did not resume significant contact with the rest of Colombia until the second half of the nineteenth century. Unfortunately, in the 1990s, contact was mostly criminal, and Inga’s refuge became a place of cruelty. For years the tribe was forcibly involved in poppy and heroin production under the influence of guerrilla groups, drug traffickers, and paramilitaries. The once-peaceful mountains teemed with illegal plantations and violence, in which the Ingas were trapped until as recently as fifteen years ago.
In the last decade, the mountains have become a safe zone for the Inga tribe, and illegal crops were eradicated to give way to a new culture: coffee! The Caturra variety has been planted in the Inga territory, on smallholder properties in the Resguardo Inga Aponte, at an average of 2150 meters above sea level. This elevation, combined with the Galeras Volcano constantly shedding nutrient-rich ash, makes for an exceptionally complex and sweet coffee. Producers process coffee on their own properties, drying honey coffee in stacked raised bed solar dryers on their farms. This process reduces water used for washing coffee and complements the natural complexity of coffees from this special region. Processing Method: Honey: The Honey Process begins with a quality filter that allows us to remove the floater coffee cherries from the process. From here, the cherries will start the depulping stage and will pass through a short fermentation of 24 hours in sealed tanks, before moving to the drying stage. In the drying stage, the coffee will rest in African-style raised beds for over 20 days. Finally, parchment coffee will pass through our dry milling and hand sorting stage.
Garzón. She farms 3 hectares of coffee and has worked with SKN agronomists for many years. “I was born among the coffee plantations,” she says. “I spent all my childhood and teenage years playing around the coffee plantations and observing the care and work my parents put into the coffee.” Edilma married a coffee producer, and they had two children. Tragically, her husband passed away when the children were still young, leaving Edilma in an incredibly difficult situation. But not only did she rise up and take control of her farm, she became a leader for her community, promoting better practices for the generational handover of coffee farms and encouraging more women to become coffee-growing entrepreneurs. Today, Doña Edilma is a respected leader in her community and region, known for her courage and drive. “For me, coffee is everything,” she adds. “It has given me motivation and strength to wake up every day, and it allows me to share my days with other coffee-growing women.”
Magdalena is the work of several thousand contributing producers (including Edilma Garzón). After harvest, most farmers begin pulping around 5 p.m., and the beans are then fermented for 18 to 24 hours. Afterward, they’re dried on patios and raised beds and delivered as parchment to the Palermo mill, where the coffee is sorted, rested and bagged.
The de-caffeination plant relies entirely on the pure water from the Navado el Ruiz and natural ethyl acetate from sugar cane plants. Ethyl acetate is an organic compound (C4H8O2) with a sweet smell—it’s created during fermentation. The process begins with steaming the green coffee at a very low pressure to remove the silver skins. The beans are then moistened with hot water, which causes them to swell and soften and begins the hydrolysis of the caffeine, which is bonded to salts of chlorogenic acid.
Distinctively smooth and perfectly balanced, we’ve developed this blend using only the highest quality coffee beans from the mountains of Colombia. Each cup of cold brew delivers a unique combination of notes, bodies and characteristics extracted during the brewing process for a compulsively drinkable cup of coffee.