SECRET STASH #37 - WHAT IS THE AJÍ VARIETY EVEN?
Secret Stash is back and we're starting off with a banger! For our first new release, we are featuring one of the most rare coffee varieties to recently become available. The variety was named Ají by Jose Herman Salazar when stumbled across on his farm La Guaca in Pitalito, Colombia which he purchased a little over 20 years ago. Jose knew he had found something special when a couple years ago he noticed a sweet red pepper aroma during the cherry harvest from slightly different looking coffee trees. He then decided to isolate these trees and process some coffee from just them.
After experimenting with the best way to process this variety, he entered it into the Colombia Cup of Excellence and placed 6th with it. This is a huge feat because farmers from all over Colombia submit their highest scoring lots of the year to this competition.Over a thousand submissions are finally whittled down to 35 selections before going to an international jury. While Jose's coffee may not have placed 1st from this jury, this was Goshen's favorite and most complex tasting one.
The organizers of the competition were shocked at how this coffee tasted and had also never heard of the Ají variety so they decided to have it genetically tested to see if this was truly something different. Turns out that this variety was a first generation growth that came straight from the wild coffee forests of Ethiopia. In these forests there are still hundreds of coffee varieties that exist and have still never been isolated. No one really knows how the coffee was brought to this region of Colombia by Ethiopia but it is thought that it was taken from a regional research lab that was decommissioned during policial turbulence. Whenever one of these labs across Colombia quickly closed, some of the workers decided to take parting gifts of coffee seeds. They would then plant the seeds on their own farms or sell to other farmers, often in unlabeled bags.
This special lot is what we love about coffee. It shows how every random decision made by its caretakers can result in accidents that have such beautiful results. This is also a preview to what you will find in our new and improved Secret Stash line so get ready to taste more unique and rare coffees that previously before.