THE STORY BEHIND EL JIGUAL
Huila is a region in southwest Colombia rich with archaeological history, diverse topography and Colombia’s largest river, the Magdalena.
Nestled in the highlands of Huila above La Plata, Alto Patico is an area characterized by steep inclines and river-carved ravines. The road from La Plata winds up these towering cliffs and is supported by large concrete dams, built in order to keep the river from washing out the road, which it often still does. Dario Anaya’s farm, El Jigual, sits comfortably in this dramatic setting.
Dario’s coffee is mechanically de-pulped, allowed to sit dry in tanks to ferment, and then washed and moved to raised beds inside covered solar dryers. He grows the Colombia F6 variety recommended by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation because it has high yields and is resistant to leaf rust. Quality has been a controversial topic with the Colombian varieties, but farmers like Dario are proving that with the proper attention and care these plants can produce an outstanding cup.
We’ve been visiting this area since 2011, and each year presents incredible growth in quality and consistency. Dario’s El Jigual is a beautifully round example of coffee from Huila, with a molasses depth and blackberry finish.