Colombia Luz Helena - Filter Roast




A beautiful washed coffee, with a clean, juicy fruit acidity and sugary sweetness

COUNTRY - Colombia
REGION - Armenia, Quindio
ALTITUDE - 1450 - 1500 M.A.S.L
VARIETAL - Castillo
CROP YEAR - 2023

Luz Helena grew up in Armenia and has been producing coffee for the last 20 years. She owns Maracay, an 8-hectare farm located at 1450 m.a.s.l, in Armenia Quindio. Luz is Carlos and Felipe’s mother, and wife of Jairo Arcila.

Luz’s passion for coffee was inspired by her husband’s work on coffee farms and as a dry mill manager. Luz would hear Jairo talking about coffee and wanted to be more involved in the industry. With the support of Jairo, Luz started learning how to care for coffee plants and what steps she needed to take to produce high-quality, ripe cherries. Luz found dealing with insects very challenging at the start and would draw on Jairo’s knowledge to help with this.

For several years now, her focus has been on producing Specialty Coffee. With the support of Cofinet, Luz has been able to improve farm practices and focus on producing the best cherries she can. Once ripe, the cherries are then processed by Cofinet at our processing station, La Pradera.

When Luz is not tenting to her coffee trees, she enjoys spending time with her friends and being part of local support groups for vulnerable people.

After the coffee cherries have been picked, the cherries are depulped (skin removed) or demucilaged (skin and pulp removed).
The coffees are typically then held in “fermentation tanks” for 12–72 hours, allowing for a gentle controlled fermentation to cause any remaining pulp to separate from the beans. Fermentation may occur from the moment of harvest until the seeds reach an inhospitable moisture content for them (11% moisture)
The beans are finally dried for up to 15 days on patios, raised beds, or in parabolic dryers until the ideal moisture content is reached.
Typically washed coffees have clean, articulate flavours; caramel or sugary sweetness; a wide spectrum of fruit acidity depending on other factors; capable of bright, crisp notes.

Developed over five generations, Castillo is the most common coffee variety grown in Colombia.
Carefully created for its resistance to leaf rust, Castillo is a hybrid variety that now makes up 40% of Colombia’s coffee crops. It is a “dwarfed” tree that can be planted in high density, resulting in generous crop yields.

That being said, some in the specialty coffee sector consider Castillo to be lower quality than other varieties as it shares a genetic heritage with robusta beans.
Before Castillo was introduced, Caturra was the most widely found coffee variety in Colombia.

However, Caturra plants are highly susceptible to coffee leaf rust, also known as la Roya. Coffee leaf rust prevents plants from photosynthesising, which can quickly kill the entire tree and may reduce crop yield by up to 70% in severe cases.

In 1938, Colombia established the National Coffee Research Centre called Cenicafé. Researchers worked to improve the genetics in Colombian coffee to help with productivity and disease resistance in crops.

Named after researcher Jamie Castillo, the Castillo coffee variety was released for production in 2005. It is the result of the successful hybridisation of Caturra with the Timor Hybrid.

So far, seven additional cultivars have been developed from Castillo, each trying to retain the cup quality of Cattura and the disease resistance from the Timor Hybrid.