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Elkin Guzman, Natural Lactic, Colombia - Bright Club #4

Elkin Guzman, Natural Lactic, Colombia - Bright Club #4



New Bright Club format! We're forgoing the post cards to reduce waste, and instead throwing all that info (and more) in a blog post for you to peruse whilst enjoying that exquisite coffee you just brewed. 

First thing's first, get your setup primed, and throw on some music we think fits the tone of this coffee. It's experimental, quirky, and large in scope - so naturally we figured New Wave captured the vibe beautifully. 


// Brew Recipe

Ratio: 16:1
Dose: 18.5g
Volume: 296g
Temp: 98°
Pre Infusion: 55g, 45s
Brew Time: 2.5 - 3m
Notes: Grind finer - this one runs quick!

// The Deets

Tastes: New York Cheesecake, New Wave, Strawberry Compote
Feels: How does it even taste like that

Origin: Colombia
Region: Huila
Municipality: Pitalito
Producer: Elkin Guzman
Varietal: Catiope
Process: Natural Lactic
Altitude: 1550-1690 masl
Fermentation Time: 24-60 hours in Cherry, 120-160 in Tank
Drying Method: Raised Patio
Drying Time: 25 Days
Importer: Apex Coffee Imports

// Why this Coffee

Doing what we do at Bright Jenny, we’re presented with the incredible opportunity of cupping coffees from all over the world; coffees of all types of cultivar, terroir and processing method. Safe to say, we really, really, REALLY enjoy doing this, and relish in the reality that our minds are blown on the reg by the incredible work coffee producers are doing. 

This coffee from Elkin Guzman of Finca el Mirador in Colombia presents a flavour experience that we feel confident in saying; most coffee drinkers have not experienced coffee like this. It was so unique, we couldn’t pass up on the opportunity of sharing it with you. Being a Natural Lactic processed coffee, this one falls into the experimental processing methods category in the Bright Club - Elkin has gained a reputation in the industry for his masterful manipulation and experimentation with processing methods, resulting in coffees that hit differently.

Similar to the Santa Ana, Volcan features in the February Bright Club - Lactic coffees are fermented in Anaerobic environments. What distinguishes this coffee from other Anaerobic coffees, is the care and mastery over the fermentation process that Elkin demonstrates. Apex Coffee Imports elaborates: “The picked cherries are sterilized in a salt solution, creating a biome conducive to specific bacteria propagation, which in the case of lactic fermentation, is lactobacillus. The coffee cherries undergo 120-160 hours of dry fermentation and dehydration where the excess moisture content in the cherry begins to decline to ideal levels before drying. Finally, the cherries are placed on a covered raised bed to dry for 25 days.”

What results is a coffee that is so outside the norm, it’s simply unrivalled in its flavour presentation. When brainstorming flavour notes for this one, we ranged from New York Cheesecake through to Lemon Meringue, it’s weird, it’s sweet, it’s a little tangy, and an incredible experience nonetheless. This coffee perfectly encompasses the strides coffee producers are taking in the development and experimentation with the processing of their coffees. 

// Story

From Apex

El Mirador is a 32-hectare farm located near the town of Pitalito in Huila. Elkin Guzman’s family has a history of over 70 years in the coffee business, 12 of which were dedicated to researching post-harvest processing techniques. 30 Hectares of the farm are dedicated to growing exotic coffee varieties like Catiope, Mokka, Tabi, Geisha, as well as Orange, Striped, and Pink Bourbon. The remaining hectares of land are used to grow a Caturra variety for processing experiments. During harvest, a process of meticulous selection of ripe cherries allows only the sweetest fruits to be processed. Elkin has standardized the workflow and processing procedures used at this farm to ensure consistency and quality control at each step. His innovative approaches to fermentation and immaculate attention to detail have made this farm a benchmark in the industry in terms of its quality. Elkin’s eagerness to learn and passion for coffee is what makes this farm one of the most exciting in Colombia. 

Elkin once stated, “the future of coffee is in its past,” and by this, he refers to the importance of not only looking ahead into the future of the coffee industry, but also recognizing the innovations of the past and building on them. Elkin’s passion for coffee was initiated at a young age, partially through working as an Agronomist for many years. He previously spent most of his time as a technical advisor to coffee farmers around the region. His help sparked a wave of improvement in the farms he had worked with. In 2015, Elkin attended an online Re:co conference held in Seattle as part of the annual SCA Expo. During a presentation by Dr. Flavio Borem about the relationship between sugar molecules and the membranes within the cell walls of the coffee seed, Elkin decided to use these insights and experiment in his processing techniques with an eye on improvement of his flavour profiles. After several years of experimentation, he has pioneered a new process which he calls “Hydro”. Along with this innovation, he has made improvements to traditional washed and natural processes yielding exciting results. 

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