In 2013, Café Imports initiated a project intended to highlight the unique cup profiles inherent to coffees from various microregions within the coffee-producing areas of Colombia. Recognizing the impact of microclimate including sun and rain, soil health, and altitude; as well as varieties grown; processing techniques; and different growing practices, it became apparent that simply calling a coffee “Colombian” doesn't even scratch the surface. Joining forces with our Colombian export partner Banexport, Café Imports planted the seed that would blossom into a multinational Regional Select program. During the harvest season, growers from within certain communities—for instance, Cauca, Tolima, Huila, and Nariño in Colombia—have their coffees cupped and scored for potential inclusion in a “Regional Select” lot, a coffee that scores between 86–88 points and displays characteristics indicative of its growing region. Coffees that score above 88 points are selected out as microlots; coffees hitting 90 and above become candidates for our ACES program. Comprising multiple coffees from smallholder farmers within the coffee-growing communities, Regional Select coffees offer producers a quality premium that encourages investment and development into future years' yields, while also bringing to market some of the best and most articulate tastes of place the world has to offer. Regional Select program coffees are available from Colombia, Guatemala, and Peru as of 2016, with plans to expand the program throughout the coffee-producing world.
For more information on Colombian coffee, visit our Colombia origin page.