At the end of last year we were in the Huila region of Colombia as we were honored to be part of the jury of the 6th Platinum Cup Competition organised by the Cooperative Cadefihuila. In addition, we were able to see first-hand the great work that producers are carrying out on the farms in this Colombian region, considered the largest producing region in the country.


The Department of Huila, located in the south-west of Colombia, has a deep-rooted coffee-growing tradition. Coffee is grown in 35 of its 37 municipalities and 74% of the rural population is dedicated to coffee growing, according to data from the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia.

Its more than 146,000 hectares dedicated to coffee cultivation make this region to be the country's leading area in terms of coffee production, but it was the level of development and technification we could experience in some of the farms, focused on obteining high quality coffees, what really delighted us.

Huila coffee is characterised by a sweet profile and good acidity. This is the result of the characteristics of the land, its climate and the application of good cultivation and processing practices by the coffee growers.


Our trip starts in Neiva, where Cadefihuila's headquarters is located, and continues in the areas of Pitalito and Acevedo (municipalities with the largest coffee plantations in Colombia), Bruselas and San Agustín. The landscape is mountainous and the farms are located at an average altitude of 1600 masl.

We met Óscar Hernández (Finca Los Nogales), William Ortiz (Finca La Cabaña) and Ramón Collazos (Finca La Esperanza) and we cupped with Néstor Lasso the coffees he harvests at Finca El Diviso.


The common factor to all the farms is their focus on quality, which has become their main distinguishing feature. Specialisation in varieties, new processing methods... has allowed them to differentiate and position themselves in the specialty coffee market, bringing value and sense to the great effort made by these producers.

We talked to the producers and cooperative representatives about these coffee processing and fermentation methods. ''They are fermentations with microorganisms found in the coffee mucilage, which are fermented separately (what we call coffee must) and then added to the coffee itself'' (...) ''This type of processing involves very long fermentations of between 80 and 200 hours''. To stop this fermentation, they use methods such as the so-called thermal shock: ''hot water is applied first, then cold water. The temperature of the hot water can vary from one farm to another. For example, 4 sessions of thermal shock can be carried out for two minutes to stop fermentation. These methods are only used on more advanced farms''.


The Platinum Cup Competition is organised by the cooperative with the aim of promoting quality among its members. Despite being a cooperative with a long history (it was founded in 1963), they take on each season with astonishing enthusiasm, aware that quality requires an effort that is rewarded through a new marketing channel for their coffees that helps to improve the quality of life of the producers and their communities.

We could experience this work in the coffees submitted to the competition, which will not be sold on the domestic market and will be targeted at foreign markets. The acquisition of these coffees is the best way Xorxios may contribute to appreciate the effort and hard work of these producers and support the cooperative in the event promotion process.


We would like to thank the cooperative and the producers we met on this trip their wonderful hospitality. A trip that has helped us to establish new links between producing and consuming countries and we feel, once again, fortunate to be able to contribute our bit for the specialty coffee value chain.


Tlf. 629 198 613

Bajada a Playa Camposancos, s/n
36788 A Guarda (Pontevedra)


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