Herrera XO | Colombia

This offering displays a unique fermentation and drying process, dubbed "XO". "XO" means "extra old" and is used to designate some of the highest quality, longest aged cognacs. 

Tasting notes: chocolate, strawberry, grape, boozy

Story from the farm: The Herrera brothers have undertaken a unique fermentation and drying process for the selection, dubbed “XO” in honor of the cognac notes that result in the cup – “XO” means “extra old” and is used to designate some of the highest quality, longest aged cognacs. The process involves 2 days of low-temperature in-cherry dry fermentation in tanks followed by 10 days of silo-aged drying. The coffee comes to us with an intense fruity aroma, even green, and a distinctive cognac-like flavor in the cup, from whence the process gets its name.

Frequently recognized by the brand Cafe Granja la Esperanza, brothers Luis and Rigoberto Herrera are the proprietors of a small group of farms in central Colombia: Cerro Azul, Las Margaritas, La Esperanza, Potosí, and Hawaii.

We’ve worked with a number of exclusive microlots from this innovative group of farms since the beginning of the Crown Jewel program. It seems like every harvest the Herrera hermanos come up with something new and innovative, exemplifying the stewardship undertaken by their father, who first diversified their coffees to include Yellow and Red Bourbon, Caturra, and Typica back in 1945.

This lot is another unique one, grown on the Potosí farm in Caicedonia, a town in Colombia’s Valle del Cauca department. Potosí was the family’s first finca, established in 1930 when Israel Correa and Carmen Rosa Vega, the Herrera’s grandmother, emigrated from the department of Antioquia. They arrived in Valle del Cauca, as did many other Antioquian families at the time, as a part of the fallout from La Colonización Antioqueña, a major cultural, political, and economic shift in the region that resulted in, among other things, cultivation of coffee and industrialization in the early 20th century that improved transportation and upon the back of which the country’s industry was built.

This is a fantastic and totally unique coffee. There’s a whole world of possibilities in the realm of careful experimental processing. Rigoberto took a big risk trying something new with this lot, and it has paid off handsomely.

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