We were introduced to Eduardo Fernando-Restrepo’s coffees during our buying season this spring. It was an unusual introduction, which seems redundant to say as most things about most things have been unusual this year. Eduardo has spent the last five years acquiring seedlings and grafts from local farmers and merchants, trading knowledge and resources with his neighbors, and selling his specialty coffees in local markets and auctions. This year, he decided to offer his coffees to the U.S. market for the first time - and then Covid happened. Eduardo sent us three coffees - an SL-28, a Tabi, and a Gesha - hoping to sell his entire harvest in one go. While we couldn’t bring in his entire harvest this year, though we did try, what we got is spectacular.
Our first release from El Zacatin is the natural processed SL-28. This coffee has taken us on a real journey, showing up loud and wild on the cupping table with a flavor profile that seemed to careen across our pallets and leave us blinking at a loss for language to describe it. However, with a little time and temperature, we’ve been able to focus on the stunning complexity of this coffee - like a crisp natural wine with a plate of raspberry preserves, dark chocolate and young cheese.