After my visit to Finca San Luis we drove back to Bogota and got on a plane to Bucaramanga in Santander, then drove up into the clouds through Piedecuesta to the beautiful Mesa de los Santos farm El Roble. Last year they arranged their first Cupping Extravaganza, inviting cuppers to come try some of their unusual varietals. This year they did the same, but planned to have an on site, old fashioned auction for tiny lots of the best/most interesting ones.
El Roble is also a boutique hotel, so to be fair it’s hardly anything like most, or any, other hacienda you’ll ever see. I rode horses around the farm every day, went in a cable car across the Chicamocha Canyon, giggled at friends being interviewed awkwardly on Colombian TV, played with goats, was moved by great art, got lost at night looking for frogs, and ate fantastic meals. But besides being a great place just to take a vacation, the work they do in the nursery and the varietal garden is both important and fascinating. The garden have several species and varietals you’ll never even have heard about before, and the the change to actually get to taste them; it’s like drinking a coffee history book. But delicious. (Mostly!)
Day one we cupped 24 varietals across two tables, plus a tale of 10 hybrids. On day 2 we cupped the top 13 from day 1, plus the Bourbon and Caturra separately.