Gabriel Castaño was the first farmer to grow the pink bourbon variety on his farm, Finca La Granada, in Colombia.
The colourful variety is relatively rare because the gene that controls the colour in the ripe cherry is double recessive. This means that if there are red, orange or yellow Bourbon plants nearby and they pollinate each other, the pink colour is lost, as are the Bourbon characteristics.
In the harvesting process, the coffee cherries are carefully hand-selected for ripeness. Unripe cherries remain on the tree and are picked in a later round of harvesting. This handling greatly improves the cup profile of the coffee and is common practice on coffee farms that grow Specialty Coffee. In an extended fermentation, the cherries are weighed and then fermented in closed tanks for 90 hours. The beans are then washed and dried for 15 days. The result is an exquisite variety of flavours with impressive tastes of chocolate cake, baking spices and passion fruit.
About the farm
Since 1990, Colombia has been producing coffee for the international world market. This was a hard blow for local coffee producers, as imports were usually cheaper.
This situation was also very difficult for Don Gabriel Castaño – until he discovered the then not very well-known coffee variety Pink Bourbon. His farm, Finca La Granada is located in the department of Huila, the location is ideal for growing coffee plants. He was fascinated by the colour of the crisps and began to cultivate this variety with great success. He noticed that the plants were very resistant to leaf rust. He decided to replant completely and has been growing only the Pink Bourbon variety ever since. His plantation and the quality of his coffee brought him and his family a secure economic income.
Gabriel and his wife Carmen have six children – four daughters and two sons – five of whom have followed in their parents’ footsteps and become coffee producers themselves. Although Gabriel is getting on in years and can no longer drink coffee for health reasons, he says he wouldn’t trade his life with anyone. He has planted 8,000 trees in his lifetime and is known in his community for being the first to grow the Pink Bourbon variety – the “Godfather of Pink Bourbon”.