El Diamante coffee from Colombia is a true gem in the world of specialty coffee. Grown and processed on Neftali Castro's family farm, this coffee is a testament to the dedication and passion of one man to his craft.
Located near the town and municipality of Cajamarca in the state of Tolima, Colombia, El Diamante farm is a 30-hectare estate owned by Neftali's father. When the farm was first established, coffee was not a priority, and the family planted plantain, green beans, potatoes, and a local carrot called arrachacha. It was only in 2008 when Neftali decided to return to his family farm after many years working as a mechanic in Tolima's capital, Ibagué, that his focus shifted to coffee production.
During a visit to the renowned coffee-producing region of Pitalito, Huila, Neftali recognized the potential of coffee and was determined to pursue the social benefits of the crop for himself and his family. He expanded the land dedicated to coffee by planting many hectares of the Caturra variety, established careful farming practices, and built a small beneficio (wet mill) and drying sheds to process his crop.
His efforts were rewarded when he placed 29th in 2009's COE auction and achieved an incredible 3rd place in the competition in 2011. This recognition brought attention from local FNC technicians, who advised Neftali to replace his Caturra trees with the higher yielding Castillo variety. Unfortunately, the variety did not perform well in such a cool climate, and what followed were a couple of difficult years for the farm.
Undeterred, Neftali made the hard decision to replace the Castillo trees entirely with the Tabi variety, a newer hybrid that is resistant to rust and performs well at higher elevations. This crop has been far more successful, and Neftali is once again producing exceptional quality and good yields. Today, eight hectares of El Diamante are under coffee production.
Neftali is considered a leader and role model within his local community and a champion for coffee production. His resourcefulness, innovation, and adaptability have helped him to build El Diamante's reputation for excellence and inspired many of his neighbours to focus on specialty production. As Neftali shares, "Coffee is my passion. I don't want to do anything else."
El Diamante coffee is a testament to the exceptional quality that can be achieved with careful farming practices, dedication to the craft, and a focus on sustainability. The coffee is grown at high elevations, which provides a unique flavor profile that is distinct from other Colombian coffees. The volcanic soils in the region are rich in minerals and nutrients, and the nearby Anaime canyon supplies the farm with ample amounts of fresh water, making for ideal growing conditions.
This coffee boasts a medium body and bright acidity, with tasting notes of citrus, red apple, and chocolate. It is an excellent choice for coffee enthusiasts who appreciate a well-balanced cup with a complex flavour profile.
Beyond its exceptional taste, El Diamante coffee is also a socially responsible choice. Neftali and his family are committed to sustainability and have banded together with their community to fight against large mining companies that were buying up land and tearing up established farms in search of gold. By supporting El Diamante coffee, you are not only enjoying a delicious cup of coffee but also contributing to the long-term sustainability of the region.
In summary, El Diamante coffee from Colombia is a shining example of the quality that can be achieved through careful farming practices and dedication to the craft. Its unique flavour profile, socially responsible sourcing,