Colombia, Caturra, Castillo
Aromas Del Sur Co-Op
Monteblanco, La Loma, El Progreso
1,800 M a.s.l.
Palestina, Huila Department
Aromas del Sur Cooperative at El Puente
Aromas del Sur is a cooperative comprised of 76 members. Fun fact: one of these members is a direct trade partner with West Oak Coffee: Rodrigo Sanchez and his farm, Monteblanco. These farms are based in southern Huila, a department in southwest Colombia which runs along the Andes Mountains. Their altitude ranges from 1,400 meters to 1,970 meters above sea level. Cooperatives are helpful in banding smaller farms together to share resources such as: management, marketing, knowledge, and processing facilities.
While some coffees are milled and dried at each individual farm, other coffees are processed at the El Puente processing facility (literally “bridge”). The facility is named for the footbridge over the river near the new El Puente processing station, located in the Palestina region of southern Huila. Rodrigo Sanchez and other members of Aromas del Sur produce coffee on their farms and deliver it to El Puente, which is designed to handle larger volumes of coffee than the mills on individual farms can process.
Coffee from El Puente is natural processed; the cherries are placed in a large parabolic dryer covered with shade fabric to regulate the temperature. Since Colombia has cooler climes than other coffee growing countries, natural processed coffees dry in slower more stable way, allowing for a sweeter, cleaner cup than in other countries. El Puente is a pilot project that is supported by community investment in sustainable development of rural areas, which makes them a great fit for West Oak Coffee.