I’ve come to think of Acevedo as a frontier town—at its core, a main drag running along a central square on the jungle’s edge in the southern reaches of Colombia's Huila Department. Motorbikes crowd the streets, there are various shops, a handful of restaurants, butchers working on the sidewalk, and one hotel where the showers are as cold as an icy mountain stream. The dirt roads that spread up the mountains like capillaries lead to isolated hamlets, only accessible by horse, motorbike or 4x4 truck. At times, it's easiest to climb the path by foot.
This month marked my fourth visit to the region since August 2016. I’ve come to know many of these producers as an extension of my family and have been deeply humbled by their hospitality. Each time I arrive at one of their farms, they insist upon feeding me and sharing everything they possibly can. Yucca, roasted chicken, rice and fruit juice may be on the menu. If you're lucky, there's asado Huilense—a local-style steak cooked in bitter citrus, most likely accompanied by more yucca. And of course, if it's past sunset, plenty of aguardiente will be poured into your cup. The warmth of our friends in Acevedo rivals their dedication to their craft.
They tend this difficult terrain with great perseverance. We are proud to carry out the last step of their crop’s journey to you.
The best coffees of Acevedo have an incredible range of flavors and break the mold for what many have come to expect from Colombian coffee. I find them to be deeply fruited, structured by layers of raw honey and dark chocolate. Some are truly extraordinary, possessing dense notes of black currants and plums. We’ve got a bounty of these offerings for you in the pipeline this season. Stay tuned.
Pictured above: Jesucita Cuellar, Alejandro Renjifo and Dillon Edwards at Finca El Carmen.
Image credit: Rich Gilligan