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Jose Arcadio Caro Rueda
100% Bourbon Chiroso
1,940m above sea level
Fully washed and dried in parabolic beds
Born and brought up in Urrao, Anitoquia by coffee producing parents, Jose Arcadio Rueda’s passion for coffee was encouraged from a young age. Today this passion is shared by his wife, Marbeluz, and teenage son, Santiago, both of whom help Sr. Arcadio on the farm. In the 16 years since buying the plot, the family have together built up a 9,500 tree plantation of Caturra variety (locally known as Caturro Chiroso) and more recently, have begun growing the variety Bourbon Chiroso.
The family’s interest in specialty coffee was ignited five years ago when they won the very first regional coffee contest in which they participated. This recognition combined with a desire to continue producing the highest quality coffee gave them the motivation to continue competing. Their hard work paid off in 2013, when Finca La Falda placed 7th in the Colombian Cup of Excellence. This was a significant win not just for the Arcadio Rueda family but also for the Department of Antioquia, which had never before seen one of its coffees ranked in the Cup of Excellence top 10.
Finca La Falda covers 10 hectares in total, with only 3 producing coffee – the rest is planted with corn, beans and tomatoes, which help the family to supplement their income year-round. As such, the Finca produces only around 55 bags of green coffee a year.
Unlike most farms in Colombia, Finca La Falda’s main harvest (70%) takes place in the fly-crop season (February-May); the remaining 30% is harvested in October-December. Jose Arcadio's success at Cup of Excellence has sparked a desire to plant more coffee and produce more experimental lots. He went through a huge round of replanting in 2012-14 and all of the new seedlings planted were (at the time) the very mysterious Caturra Chiroso.
Never heard of it? Well, that’s not surprising. It is a variety of Caturra originating in Urrao that is rarely seen outside the region. The variety is characterised by an elongated cherry and is known locally for its productivity. Jose was one of the first farmers in the region to begin planting significant plots large enough for commercial use.
Jose first discovered Bourbon Chiroso within his own plantation of Caturra Chiroso. The taller tree with slightly larger, elongated cherries stood out. Jose decided to separate the seeds from this tree and to plant a smaller lot. 2 years later, Jose cupped his first crop to find it tasted amazing! The Bourbon Chiroso is in many ways similar to the Caturra
Chiroso. It delivers a spectacular cup with floral and rhubarb notes, and additional spice complexity. Five years after discovering this novel variety, Jose now has a larger space designated to the Bourbon Chiroso, and is able to produce small commercial lots.
For Both the Caturra and the Bourbon, Jose uses the same method of processing, his special 5 day fermentation mix. The process duration may seem longer than that employed by other farms; however, given the very low water temperature at La Falda, the fermentation process tends to be much slower.
Despite the high quality of his coffee, Jose does not plan to compete in the Cup of Excellence program again. By participating in the contest once and placing so highly, he expresses that he has firmly established the reputation of Finca La Falda and is securing fair and sustainable prices for his coffee. Instead of pursuing more competitions, he will focus on making sure that the quality of his coffee remains high across the board.