Los Ortega Blend
Specialty coffee has a problem. One where lots of roasters, and even consumers, choose to value high scoring coffees over genuine direct-trade relationships with producers. As roasters who are trying to embrace the Fourth Wave, we have chosen our relationships with farmers over the pursuit of the "perfect cup". And it has paid off in many ways, including this incredible coffee.
The 2020/2021 main harvest was a difficult year for many of the producers. Climate Change continues to wreak havoc on the San
Agustin area, with wildly fluctuating temperatures, high winds and rains, and limited
sun. Many of the producers reported issues in all stages of production this year, from low yield, to cherry loss due to rain, to flowering
problems, to slow drying times due to lack of sun.
This blend was born to help a farmer who had a coffee that didn't at first, turn out as expected. Instead of selling it locally at lower prices, our friends at Semilla coffee and Monkaaba created a blend to elevate the underperforming coffee. We had already committed to buying this coffee to support our farmer friend, and then committed to the blend. Little did we know that with some rest, the coffee really developed nicely and the blend ended up being a really unique cup that was very well scored when graded. This just shows that true partnerships are a win-win for all parties, and furthers our commitment and resolve to always put our relationships with farmers above the pursuit of 90 plus coffees, the likes of which many people won't appreciate or even enjoy. The truth is we don't ever buy bad coffee because the incredible farmers we work with don't grow bad coffee. But we don't try and chase subjective, misleading and inconsistent cup scores. We don't ask farmers or our importer to send us sample after sample when deciding which coffees to buy. Most coffee we buy is based on trust and relationships.
This coffee is a living testament to the power of partnerships and community. And a culmination of doing things differently, and doing them better.
ORIGIN + VARIETY: Red Caturra, Gesha, Pink Bourbon, and Colombia
TASTING NOTES: Strawberry rhubarb pie
PRODUCERS: Various related producers from San Agustin region: Alejandro Ortega, Augusto Ortega, Angel Ortega, and Eanaider Ortega
REGION: San Agustin, Huila
ALTITUDE: 1680-1750 masl
SIZE: Available in 227g, 340g, 454g, and 908g bags GRIND: Whole Bean, Filter, French Press and Espresso/Moka Pot.
More info about the Producers and Regional Blends:
This is one of the few micro regional blends we have, but don't let that fool you. This regional blend is made of four unique varieties from single producers, all from the same extended family and region, working in tandem under the Monkaaba banner.
Monkaaba’s goal is to assist growers in the area to not only find a better market for their coffee, one that pays a solid price, but also to invest in the knowledge and skill of producers in a way that ensures their future success.
This group of growers trace their lineage in coffee back to the early days of commercial coffee growing in San Agustin, when their grandparents would have tended to the first crops, in this now famous coffee growing region.
San Agustin is a near mythical place for specialty coffee, being not only beautiful, but also soaked in history. Our coffee menu is a true tribute to some of the region's great producers and unique varieties.
This is not some blend of untraceable origins and large scale farms. It's small farms we trust, who sharewshare blood and soil to support each other, promote fair wages, and produce amazing coffees.
This blend just brings out the best in all of these remarkable varieties and we hope you love it much as we do!
- ESPRESSO: If wanting to pull this lighter roast as an espresso, we recommend playing with you ratios a bit to ward off a shot that might be a bit too bright. Try a 1:3 or 1:2.5 ratio, and grind a litter finer for a longer shot. We pulled this roast with 18g in, 44g out, at 40-50 seconds on our Silvia and it was great.
- POUR OVER: We recommend grinding a touch finer for pour over for this roast, and try to limit your pours to 1-2 (post bloom) so you can really let the acids and brightness of this coffee come to life. But as always experiment, you may like 3-4 pours for more body and less acid! It really does well on flat bottom drippers like the Kalita.
- FRENCH PRESS: We recommend the James Hoffman method for this roast: 16.67:1 ratio // medium grind (not too coarse) // add water, do not stir, brew for 4 minutes // after 4 mins break crust gently, scoop everything that floats // let sit for another 5-8 minutes // don't press all the way, only use it as a filter at the surface of the brew.
- ICED COFFEE: Perfect as a pour over flash freeze brew. Use large cocktail ice, lower your brewing ratios and then prepare as you usually would!