This one is a classic varietal for coffee purists who only do the 'black-filtered thing'. Why is that? Because Caturras normally have a distinctive citrus acidity and balance the sweetness with pleasant cacao notes.
With regards to a filter coffee, this is the closest to perfection. Some Caturras, if produced with care and a bit of experimentation at farm-level, can bring even funkier notes of acidity, like passion fruit or blood orange.
This varietal was developed in Brazil in the ’60s and later moved to the Colombian cloudy mountains, where it simply thrived.
Though Caturra trees are small in size (Caturra meaning 'small' in Portuguese), they produce more beans than Typicas. This size to yield ratio is highly valued by farmers for obvious reasons.
Caturra beans are rounder than those of Typica or Borbón, with high ends and a depressed centre. The groove in the middle is small and some beans don’t even present a groove. The edge of the slope is not very pronounced and the flat part of the bean is quite irregular.
For people who are new to this coffee—which will be most of us—Eduardo suggests making it using the filter method. “I use about 18g of coffee and enough water to go through the filter in 30 seconds. It’s the perfect way to brew Caturra,” he says.
“I think the Caturra is a wonderful introduction to the coffees of Colombia and with a filter, you will really be able to taste the wonderful balance between acidity and sweetness. You will get a kind of sharp citrus taste followed by sweetness later on—the balance is perfect and the taste is very clean.”
A constant climate
Caturra can be produced all over Colombia because the country has a lot of very high terrain. “The mountains generate a lot of rain,” Eduardo explains. “Also the soil is very rich. When added to the fact that we have a constant climate, the conditions for producing this coffee just perfect. Over the last century or so, this has allowed the country to develop an amazing coffee production culture.”