The Story of Chiroso: An Exquisite Ethiopian Coffee Variety, in Colombia

Juan Cañas
Juan Cañas

Caturra Chiroso: Antioquía's Pink Bourbon

Picture yourself in the middle of lush green coffee mountains, standing in front of Doña Carmen’s farm in Urrao, Antioquia. The scent of nature fills the air as she shares with you the story of Caturra Chiroso or simply “Chiroso” as it’s known these days: that was us the last time we visited her. 

It all started in 2014 when Doña Carmen won the Cup of Excellence with this exquisite variety. Despite its amazing taste, Chiroso didn’t become as popular at that moment as its counterpart, Pink Bourbon, from Huila.

So if Chiroso won the COE in 2014, why are we just hearing about this variety now when Pink Bourbon was discovered afterwards? Our theory is that Huila is more famous for specialty coffee, which makes it easier for them to access markets. Antioquia on the other hand, is generally known for larger farms producing “volume coffee”. When Pink Bourbon hit the scene, producers lined for seeds knowing they’d find a buyer. However, this doesn’t mean that Chiroso is any less delicious. In fact, Chiroso offers the same cup quality, it just remained unknown at the time!

We were left wondering, “how did this Chiroso end up in Urrao?” So, we asked Doña Carmen to spill the beans (pun intended).

She revealed that years ago, a farmer from Urrao visited a farm in Betulia, Antioquia, and saw a lot with exceptional production. He asked the farmer for seeds and took them back to Urrao. 

Eventually, Doña Carmen got her hands on some seeds, and that’s how Chiroso started spreading throughout Urrao. It’s so famous right now, there is even a coffee shop in the small town called (you guessed it!), Chiroso.

The story of Chiroso is a testament to the Colombian coffee industry’s rich history and the passion of its farmers. The Coffee Quest has been working with Urrao producers since 2021. Given that many lots come from smallholders’ farms and cannot be separated on their own, we started putting together a communal lot of just the Chiroso variety. This made it easier for farmers to sell their crop at the same micro-lot prices and at the same time give them the spotlight they deserve.

This particular lot that The Coffee Quest has sourced is a representation of the high-scoring Chiroso lots from Urrao, Antioquia. All of the farms that contributed are from higher elevations, sitting at a range between 1,800 and 2,000 m.a.s.l.

We are thrilled to share this coffee with you, and together, develop strong relationships with the farmers in Urrao who grow these Chirosos!

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