Colombia Los Nogales Thermal Shock


Apple strudel, cinammon, grapefruit

Characteristics: Sweet, fruity

Owner: Oscar Hernandéz

Region: Bruselas, Huila

Elevation: 1600-2000 m

Varietal: Castillo Naranjo (Orange)

Farm size: 24 ha

Other varietals on the farm: Týpica, Orange Bourbon, Pink Bourbon, Yellow Bourbon, Red Bourbon, Caturra, Castillo, Colombia, Sudan Rume

SCA score: 88

Processing: Thermal shock and anaerobic fermentation with yeast

Importing company: Chicas Industry

Finca Los Nogales is a family farm, or rather a company that combines tradition with innovation. It is located in the hamlet of El Diamante, just outside the town of Bruselas in the southern part of the department of Huila. The farm was founded by members of the Hernandez family around 1940. Its tradition and focus on growing the best coffee was then developed by Mr Ricaurte Hernandéz. After his death, it was unclear for a while what would become of this farm. About six years ago, however, the farm began to prosper under the stewardship of Oscar Hernandéz, Mr Ricaurte’s son, and is now a model for farmers throughout the area.

The three pillars of the Finca Los Nogales approach:

1. Terroir – the land gives us life and gives it to the coffee plants that grow on it. Los Nogales is aware of this. If we just exploit the land and don’t take care of it, we will soon have no place to grow coffee. In contrast to intensive farming and the conventional approach to fertilization, the entire Los Nogales team is thinking about long-term sustainability. They are replacing commercial intensive single-component fertilizers with complex organic humus processed from their own coffee processing residues. They are also gradually planting the coffee plants further apart on the plantations, reducing the demands on the land. While less intensive, but also less concentrated and more complex cultivation yields less in the short term, it ensures that in the long term the same land can be used to grow coffee for generations to come.

2. Genetics – the second important ingredient in coffee production is genetic material. That is, the varieties you choose to work with. At Los Nogales Farm you will find traditional indigenous varieties of Arabica that have been grown in Colombia since the 18th century, such as Týpica, newer hardier varieties such as Castillo or Colombia, but also exotic varieties imported from other countries and continents such as Gesha or Sudan Rume.

3. Science and passion – at Los Nogales, the focus is on innovation. The coffee world is constantly evolving and its connection with scientific knowledge is becoming more and more commonplace, or rather a necessity. Oscar therefore relies on the experience of a biochemist, an agricultural engineer, a microbiologist, as well as an experienced accountant and a very capable manager himself. The passion for what they do is not lacking in anyone, they pull together and if they have any differences of opinion, they take them as an asset.


    1. Harvesting only ripe fruit: This step ensures that only ripe fruit is harvested. This is essential for obtaining high quality coffee beans, as ripe beans have optimal flavour and aroma.
    2. Cleaning and disinfection with purified water: The harvested coffee beans undergo a thorough cleaning and disinfection with purified water. This removes impurities and unwanted micro-organisms.
    3. Density sorting by water. Higher density beans tend to sink, while lower density beans float. This helps to separate the good beans from the defective ones.
    4. Heat shock. This process breaks down the sugars and pasteurises the beans, which contributes to the final taste of the coffee.
    5. Cleaning the coffee in a wet mill and adding the sugars: the coffee berries are ground and the sugars obtained by pressing the skins of the coffee cherries themselves are added. This can improve the flavour profile and add sweet notes to the coffee.
    6. Fermentation: The coffee beans go through a fermentation process that takes 120 hours. During this time, sugars are broken down, which affects the flavour and acidity of the coffee. Also mentioned is the addition of pre-ferments, similar to sourdough starter in bread, which can add unique characteristics to the coffee.

    7. Drying in the sun: Finally, the fermented coffee beans are dried in the sun for 15 days. This step is necessary to reduce the moisture content of the beans to a level suitable for long-term storage and for further development of the coffee flavour.
    8. The beans are then transferred into barrels that were previously used for beer: Finally, the dried coffee beans are transferred in a layer of parchment to the barrels formerly used for beer. This adds further flavour nuances and produces a coffee with an extraordinary and complex taste.