This year marks my tenth anniversary as a roaster at Peace Coffee. As the year has progressed, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve learned over the years, which coffees have really stood out, what I love about certain green coffees, and how my roasting and profiles have evolved over the time.
Fondo Paez is definitely one of those coffees that have stood out over the past decade. When I first joined the roasting team, Fondo Paez was a notable favorite among all staff, talked about both for its cherry yumminess, and for the unique story of the Paez people. Years later I would enter some of this coveted Colombian coffee to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA)’s Roaster of the Year competition at their annual conference. I made it into the top three of this national competition, Fondo Paez’s coffee competing against other top coffees that had been hand-selected from well-established estates. By contrast, Fondo Paez is a very small cooperative made up of indigenous farmers tending their crops and trying to emulate the best practices of their ancestors.
This year’s crop from Fondo Paez has won me over once again! The sweetness, balance of qualities, and cleanliness make it a joy to roast and develop. There are many sweet spots for this coffee, making my job both easier and more complicated—when there are so many delicious options, which to choose?! But it is very satisfying work as I seek to find the sweet spot where this amazing coffee will be approachable and enjoyable for all coffee drinkers.
The final choice?
A friendly light roast that showcases all the hard work at origin in Cauca and a delicate touch with the flame here at the Peace Coffee roastery. Wishing a very enjoyable cup of coffee to all this holiday season!
–Derek De La Paz, Head Roaster and Quality Control Manager