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Cooperativa de Caficultores del Meta

Uribe, Meta, Colombia
Partner since: 2021 Traceable to: 100 Members Altitude: 1053+ MASL Varietals: Castillo (70%), Colombia (14%), Caturra (11%)

Fully Washed, home processed

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Meta is a large department located in the geographic center of Colombia. It is where the Andes mountains meet the Los Llanos plains, home to rainforests, ranchers, and revolutionaries – eastern Meta is also where coffee first entered Colombia, as early as 1730, along the Orinoco River from Venezuela, from where it spread up the Meta river and into the Andes. Now coffee is grown across 1600 coffee farms in Meta, which cover nearly 2800 hectares. But coffee from this region currently comes to market through Huila, and is rarely if ever sold separately as being from Meta.
CAFIMETA is out to change that. CAFIMETA is the abbreviation for ‘Cooperativa de Caficultores del Meta ‘ which operates along the eastern foothills of the Andes, directly opposite of Huila. Their 100 members are spread across a three hour drive from Uribe in the west, through Mesatas, and to San Juan de Arama in the east. We were looking for partners in Meta for a few years before coming across a single producer whose coffee passed the 2nd round of the FNC’s 2021 Land of Diversity Auction. While this lot didn’t make it to the final auction, we brought it in as an example of the qualities that are possible out of Meta, and as the first step towards building stronger relationships in the region.

Colombia and coffee are nearly synonymous. For decades, US specialty has looked to Colombia to source the entire spectrum of coffees, from all-day approachable blenders to unique and experimental competition lots. This range speaks to the diversity to be found within Colombia–diversity in climate, coffee, and culture. Colombia harvests coffee nearly year-round from the northern mountain ranges in the Sierra Nevada to the Rezuardos in the South. Some farmers negotiate directly with roasters on cup scores and track international prices. Others come from remote communities and sell to the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) – a setter of standards and buyer of last resort for communities that have access to no other customer.

It can be most fulfilling to comb through collections and drill down past the bodega level. All that is possible within a single collection can often be scaled up if you just ask, that is if you find the right partners who care to listen. Earning trust, calibrating on coffee, and getting into a good cadence for communication are more important here than in other parts of the world.

In Colombia, quality can be found from estates at the container-load or from smallholders 1-2 bags at a time. The key is finding the right partners who can help you to cut through the noise and get to the best coffees every harvest.