La Esperanza Bourbon Ají - Colombia Limited Release

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About La Esperanza Bourbon Aji

In the township of Villa Fátima, outside of Bruselas, Huila in Colombia, Luz Dary Polo works on her 3 hectare (7.5 acre) farm where she  recently renovated 7,000 trees, replacing  older trees with a rare ‘bourbon ají’ varietal. 

Luz got the seeds from fellow Guácharos group member, Ildefonso Cordoba. They are proud that this variety is native to Bruselas — the town that the group is based in. Bourbon ají has piqued a lot of interest among the group members as the trees seem to be resistant to issues like coffee leaf rust. The cherries ripen to a chili color and some producers think that the cherry has a slight spiciness to it, hence the ‘ají’ (chili) name. 

Contrary to its name, this variety is not actually a bourbon. Through genetic testing, it was determined that it’s more closely related to an Ethiopian landrace variety. Thank you, science!

The ‘spicy’ cherries are picked at their peak ripeness and floated to remove any defects. Then, the cherries are stored in sealed bags to begin a fermentation process. After 40 hours, the cherries are depulped, then fermented again in a sealed barrel for 60 more hours. Then, the coffee is washed and sun dried before export. 

We think this coffee is a head-turner. It’s complex and sweet with a juicy richness. While this coffee doesn’t actually taste like chilis, don’t be surprised if this little ‘aji’ spices up your morning routine. Take a moment and soak in the rarity of this beautiful cup.

REGION: Bruselas, Huila, Colombia
FARM: La Esperanza
PRODUCER: Luz Dary Polo
VARIETAL: Bourbon Ají
ALTITUDE: 1,650 Meters
PROCESS: Double fermented, Washed, and Sun Dried

Sourced from our partners at Shared Source.

Tastes like

Blackberry, Meyer Lemon, Dark Chocolate

Brewing Recommendation

While we strive to roast our coffees to be enjoyable using any brewing method, we love this coffee brewed on the Chemex.

Chemex Brewing Guide - 1:16 ratio [e.g. 25g coffee : 400g water]

Frequently asked questions

We ship almost all orders same or next day, Monday-Friday. We ship via USPS and typically orders take 2-5 days arrive. (But, as you may know, once we drop your package off, shipping times are out of our control.)

The coffee is usually roasted within one business day (Monday-Friday) of shipment. We recommend waiting at least 3-4 days after the roasting date before brewing. (And we think the sweet spot is around 2 weeks!)

All our coffees will be somewhere in the vicinity of a light to medium roast.

The way we approach roasting coffees is called 'profile roasting' meaning that we create a unique roasting profile for each coffee based on the characteristics of each bean (density, size, moisture level within the bean, etc) and how it reacts while roasting so that we can get what we believe to be the best expression possible for each of our coffees!

Lucky for you, any of our coffees can be brewed as espresso!

We aim to roast our coffee so that it tastes great in a variety of brew methods. (Fun fact: espresso is a brew method, not a type of coffee bean!)

If one of our offerings sounds good to you, we bet you’ll like it on espresso too! But, we always like to suggest Tres Banderas as a starting point for espresso. 

No, most of our coffees aren’t ‘certified’ organic. But!! That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not grown using organic processes. For many of the farms/mills that we purchase coffee from, the cost of the certification could put them out of business — new and separate equipment, cost of application process, the time spent going through certification (multiple years), etc. You can read more on the topic in our blog post here.

We are not officially fair trade certified and typically do not purchase Fair Trade certified coffees. We believe the system is a good one, and has helped many farmers and families earn a better living, however, one thing it does not address well is quality of product, and we typically pay much higher prices for higher quality.

Fair trade usually offers farmers a small premium (about $.40) on top of whatever the current market price for coffee is. We either work directly with producers or importers that already pay well above Fair Trade prices for high quality coffees. We pay top prices for great coffees regardless of any certification. Please feel free toreach out to us if you have any other questions regarding our buying practices.

Your enthusiastic satisfaction with your order is our top priority! If you are dissatisfied with your purchase, please contact us to discuss available options.

You have 30 calendar days to return an item from the date the order was placed. To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it in and must be in the original packaging.

Please note that we cannot accept returns on coffee because it is a perishable item. If we made an error in fulfilling your coffee order, we will, of course, make it right! Just contact us and we’ll get everything sorted.

Visit our full FAQ page or send us a note at