Elkin Guzman - Tabi natural acetic
Elkin Guzman - Tabi natural acetic
Elkin Guzman - Tabi natural acetic

Elkin Guzman - Tabi natural acetic

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Tabi natural acetic • Finca el Mirador • PitalitoHuila

notes / vanilla, candied fruit, salted dark chocolate
profile / deep, sweet, complex
region / Pitalito, Huila
altitude / 1550 - 1680 masl
varietals / Tabi
producers / Elkin Guzman
farm / Finca el Mirador
processing / natural acetic
fermentation / 290hrs in dark plastic tanks, controlled temperature
drying time /  30 days
drying method / raised beds
importer / Apex Coffee

El Mirador is a 32-hectare farm located near the town of Pitalito in Huila. Elkin Guzman’s family has a history of over 70 years in the coffee business, 12 of which were dedicated to researching postharvest processing techniques. 30 Hectares of the farm are dedicated to growing exotic coffee varieties like Catiope, Mokka, Tabi, Geisha, as well as Orange, Striped, and Pink Bourbon. The remaining hectares of land are used to grow a Caturra variety for processing experiments. During harvest, a process of meticulous selection of ripe cherries allows only the sweetest fruits to be processed. Elkin has standardized the workflow and processing procedures used at this farm to ensure consistency and quality control at each step. His innovative approaches to fermentation and immaculate attention to detail have made this farm a benchmark in the industry in terms of its quality. Elkin’s eagerness to learn and passion for coffee is what makes this farm one of the most exciting in Colombia. 

Elkin once stated, “the future of coffee is in its past,” and by this, he refers to the importance of not only looking ahead into the future of the coffee industry, but also recognizing the innovations of the past and building on them. Elkin’s passion for coffee was initiated at a young age, partially through working as an Agronomist for many years. He previously spent most of his time as a technical advisor to coffee farmers around the region. His help sparked a wave of improvement in the farms he had worked with. In 2015, Elkin attended an online Re:co conference held in Seattle as part of the annual SCA Expo. During a presentation by Dr. Flavio Borem about the relationship between sugar molecules and the membranes within the cell walls of the coffee seed, Elkin decided to use these insights and experiment in his processing techniques with an eye on improvement of his flavour profiles. After several years of experimentation, he has pioneered a new process which he calls “Hydro”. Along with this innovation, he has made improvements to traditional washed and natural processes yielding exciting results.

Elkin always measures brix content to determine when to harvest. Once cherries have reached 20-24 Brix sugar content (around 90% ripeness), he harvests the cherries. Oxygenation of the water in the fermentation tanks is required to create a biome conducive to specific bacteria propagation, which in the case of acetic fermentation, is acetobacter micro-bacteria. Ripe cherries are placed into these 50 litre tanks for fermentation, which may take up to 290 hours to ensure there is adequate time for flavour development. After this, the cherries are dried on raised beds for 30 days. The outcome is a fruit forward coffee with deep, complex attributes.