Las Rosas Women’s Coffee Project represents three-hundred farmers in the Women’s Association of Western Huila, Colombia. The project is a collaboration between this organization and our importing partners, RGC, highlighting the work of women in this region while reinvesting revenues toward initiatives they have identified as particularly impactful. The project has been going on for five years, providing resources such as agricultural education, access to a rotating credit fund that is independently owned and operated by the women, psychological support to women affected by domestic violence, digital media workshops on gender equity and
leadership, and training opportunities in political empowerment, delivered with a communal participatory approach. In parallel, coffee quality and production efficiency have been strongly prioritized, resulting in an annual production of 1,375 exportable bags in 2020, scoring favorably enough in the cup to qualify as Specialty according to the official Specialty Coffee Association scoring system.
This particular selection comes from Caturra and Castillo coffee trees grown at altitudes ranging from 1,700 - 2,000 meters above sea level. Starting off as a clean, well-produced washed coffee, it was then transported to western Canada, where it underwent the Swiss Water Decaffeination process, or SWP. SWP is the most common form of decaffeination for specialty coffees, involving the extraction of caffeine molecules by immersion in a liquid made out of fresh water and all the soluble solids within coffee, aside from the caffeine. SWP refers to this solution as “Green Coffee Extract,” or GCE. After cleaning and rehydrating the coffee, it spends eight to ten hours soaking in the GCE, which naturally absorbs the caffeine molecules from the green coffee. Finally, the caffeine is removed through a proprietary carbon filtration system, and in SWP’s own words, “the carbon is sent to a regeneration furnace to burn away the caffeine, so that it can be reused.” The coffee is then redried, and shipped. Altogether, this process is done as sustainably as possible, and incredible care is taken to preserve as much of the coffee’s original flavor profile as can be. In this cup of Las Rosas, we taste brown sugar, lemon, and poppy.