La Fragua Variety Series

The first time Kevin Reddy visited the La Fragua coffee farm in Cundinamarca, Colombia in 2011, he was shown a large clearing and a nursery full of coffee seedlings on horseback. Many of these seedlings were new coffee varieties that had never been planted at La Fragua. His latest visit in 2015 displayed lots of progress.

The nursery Reddy first saw in 2011

“We went again by horseback and rode around those experimental lots and took a look at basically what the seedlings had done in four year’s time,” Reddy says. “A few of them had begun to actually yield a harvest, and we were able to taste that harvest at the farm.”

Three of the experimental lots are now bundled together for $45.00 and available to pre-order through Blueprint Coffee in a boxed variety series: Typica, Castillo and Gesha. A fourth variety, the Santa Barabara Castillo, was sold exclusively by wholesale partner The Mud House.

The box set includes three varieties in 8oz bags, a screen printed box, an information card, and passes to a tasting on June 17

The La Fragua farm has been operating for years, evidenced by large British processing equipment that was delivered in the 1890s. The estate’s climate is cooler and more arid than other Colombian coffee farms, and a majority of the coffee is shade-grown, too. There are also seven natural springs on the property, which inspired the farm’s name. In addition to coffee, the farm also raises cattle and horses, and is home to many wild birds that migrate south in the winter.

Me, posing next to the massive industrial machinery that was imported from England in the early 1900's
Reddy next to the processing equipment, which was delivered to La Fragua from Britain in the 1890s

“It’s roughly a 300 hectare estate that sits kind of nestled in an old volcanic crater,” Reddy says. “It is truly picturesque. On top of the fact that it’s shade-grown, there’s also rocky cliffs and different indigenous birds and other vegetation and stuff like that as well. It really is a self-sustaining environment.”

The processing facility at La Fragua sits below the Media Luna mountain ridge.

The package of three coffee varieties may seem like a lot of coffee to purchase at one time, but Reddy is looking forward to the opportunity to present a set of coffees where the only variable is the coffee variety.

The top of the screen-printed Variety Series box.
The top of the screen-printed Variety Series box.

“I think this is a new experience for a coffee drinker that’s going to actually offer individual experiences,” he says. “Within the set you’ll learn some things as well as just the package itself being a unique item.”

Looking forward, Blueprint’s relationship with the La Fragua Estate will continue to germinate and grow. Even though these lots are experiments now, there is a commitment and investment towards the future.

“For a company in the position like we’re in, this is really an opportunity for us to get in, sort of ground floor, demonstrate that commitment, and work with a series of relationships that are all working towards the same goal,” Reddy says.

Blueprint Coffee will host an exclusive tasting on Friday, June 17 open to those who preorder the box set through the company’s website or at their Delmar coffee bar in St. Louis. The tasting will also feature a presentation by Brooke McNeill from Atlas Coffee Importers. Atlas is responsible for connecting Blueprint with La Fragua and imports these coffees and many other from Colombia for Blueprint.