Colombia Cauca AMACA: Empowering Women Coffee Producers

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In our continuous effort to bridge the gap between the roaster and the specialty coffee industry, we are taking a closer look at our green coffee selection with a focus on farms, producers, varietals, and processing methods.

AMACA – El Tambo, Cauca, Castillo:

We keep revisiting coffee from the Cauca department of southwestern Colombia because the area produces consistently sweet, citric, and balanced coffees. This offering from El Tambo is unique in that it is produced by all female coffee growers, who work together within an organization called AMACA.

AMACA (Asociacion de Mujeres Productoras Agropecuarias del Cauca, or Women Agricultural Producers of Cauca) is composed of 140 smallholder members, all women are farm owners and heads of households producing excellent coffees and supporting other women in their region.

Harvest, Processing, and Parabolic Drying

Members of AMACA harvest only fully ripe cherries which are depulped on the same day as they are harvested. The members process the coffee on their own farms, and use parabolic dryers to dry the coffee in parchment. Parabolic dryers are considered a practical way of utilizing solar radiation and air energy in coffee drying. In this method, transparent plastic roofs and rustic parabolic structures are built from guadua, a bamboo found in many different regions of South America. The structure allows for an advantage of radiation during less sunny days and provides direct radiation during sunny hours, increasing drying times.

A Premium on Women’s Coffees

Cafe Imports launched the Women’s Coffee Program after buying their first lot of greens from AMACA. While raising awareness of inequality for women in producing countries, this program also aims to provide financial support to these women’s families, communities, and their overall contributions to the coffee industry.

AMACA’s motto is to bring forth a better quality of life for its community members and family. In efforts to support this, Cafe Imports pays a premium above the value of the coffee. This directly supports the group’s aspiring goals, which includes adequate warehouse spacing for storing, cupping, and managing coffees.

Similar programs exist in other coffee-growing regions. Cafe Femenino, which was created by a women’s coffee cooperative in Peru in 2003, supports social justice and works to empower female coffee producers across the world. Along with trademarked certifications like Fair Trade USA™ and Rainforest Alliance, coffees that are produced within these gender-focused programs strike a chord with customers who want to shop for products that share their values. These coffees allow roasters to tell a more personal story about the supply chain and highlight issues that they are passionate about.

Roasting & Brewing El Tambo

When roasting this coffee, Bryant aims for a classic medium roast profile with a 50%/30%/20% breakdown of time spent in each phase. This Colombia shines at a light to medium roast, he ends at 405° on our MCR-2D. View his profile here.

We lean on this coffee as a blend component when we need to increase sweetness and add depth of flavor to a blend. It’s also great as a single origin. When it comes to brewing, this coffee shines on a variety of brew methods. It’s sweet and citric with notes of chocolate, orange, and toffee. Bryant suggests brewing this up as a classic French Press or on a Chemex, “I’ve been enjoying Clever/Bonavita lately, it’s versatile.”

To purchase a bag of El Tambo, view it on our green coffee page.

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