A special community lot from our friends at The Coffee Quest. This one is made up exclusively of tiny 86+ point lots that were just too small to separate. Instead of taking those coffees and blending them with lots that don't score as highly, they were only blended with lots of the same quality. The cup is intensely fruited and a little bit funky, reminding us of candied citrus, plum and raspberry coulis.

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Las Perlitas


Producer     Smallholders around Buesaco & Tablon de Gomez

Region         Tablon de Gomez & Buesaco, Nariño

Varieties     Caturra, Colombia & Castillo

Process       Honey

Altitude       1800-2200 masl

Importer     The Coffee Quest


Las Perlitas

Throughout the harvest, it's quite common that small-holders in Colombia produce lots that aren't large enough to be exported on their own. However, the quality is often just as good (or better) than samples received from larger lots. As such, our importing partner, The Coffee Quest buys all coffees regardless of size and creates a larger, export-size lot based on region, cup score and profile. What sets this particular community lot apart from others is that all the coffees in this lot are 86+ coffees. They aren't blended into lots containing lower scoring coffees, meaning the quality is on par with single producer microlots, and of course, the producers were paid 86+ micro-lot prices!

The result is Las Perlitas Nariño; a celebrated coffee of various small lots from producers in Nariño, whose farms range in elevation from 1,800 to 2,200 m.a.s.l. and grow Caturra, Colombia and Castillo. In this iteration, the small lots are made up of producers primarily from the following municipalities: Buesaco and Tablon de Gomez.

This year we purchased two Las Perlitas lots, this one from Nariño, and another from Huila.


Nariño is characterized by steep slopes, and extremely high altitudes as well as a unique climate. Warm, humid air makes its way up from the valleys during the evening hours, allowing for coffee to be grown at higher altitudes than in the rest of Colombia, without risk of frost. Producers are small, biodiversity is traditional, soils are nutrient rich and well-drained.

Field Blend

A natural mutation of Bourbon, originally discovered in Brazil in the early 20th century; Caturra derives its name from the Guarani word for “small,” a reference to its diminutive stature that results from a single-gene mutation causing dwarfism. It was this small size- allowing for more trees to be planted closer together- that led to mass selections of Caturra being made by the Instituto Agronomico (IAC) of Sao Paulo State in Campinas in the 1930’s. Caturra then made its way to Guatemala during the 1940’s and then was widely adopted in the 1970’s by the rest of Central America, where it is now one of the most economically important varieties. At high altitudes Caturra has strong quality and yield potential but unfortunately, is quite susceptible to disease.

Caturra's susceptibility to rust led to efforts by the Colombian coffee research institute, Cenicafé, to cross Caturra with Timor Hybrids to generate rust resistance. The result was Variedad Colombia, which was largely successful for a time, and remains popular despite leaf-rust mutations overtaking its resistance.

Cenicafé continued the breeding process of Caturra and Timor Hybrid varieties to produce even better resistance to leaf rust. Ultimately this resulted in Castillo, which also benefits from high yields and good cup quality, making it the predominant variety grown in Colombia today. The name Castillo actually refers to a number of different forms of the variety, each tailored to a different regional climate in Colombia. This diversity has helped facilitate continued rust resistance.


The coffees in this community lot we processed in a variety of different ways, however, the grand majority were honey processed.



The Coffee Quest

Farmgate Pricing

What's this?

FOB: "Freight on board," usually the price paid to the coffee exporter for coffee ready to ship. This includes price paid to the producer as well as milling, warehousing and transportation costs plus any intermediaries' fees and export costs.

Farmgate: the price paid by the exporter or other buyer to the producer or producer organization.

2.875 million COP per carga (125kg) of parchment.

FOB Pricing

4.31 USD per lb

Lot Size

Total lot size of 3,080kg. Subtext purchased 180kg.

Relationship Length

This is the second year Quest has built Las Perlitas in Nariño and the first year that Subtext has purchased the community lot.


Subtext cupping score of 86.5