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Producer: Oscar and Nancy Maca, Popayan, Cauca, Colombia
Producer: Oscar and Nancy Maca, Popayan, Cauca, Colombia

Farm: Finca El Zafiro

James Fairbrass avatar
Written by James Fairbrass
Updated over a week ago

Our relationship with Oscar and Nancy Maca dates back to 2016, when we were first introduced to the variety that they’ve become synonymous with, Wush Wush.

(Oscar and Nancy Maca)

The Wush Wush variety is rare and not much is known about it. It is believed to have made its way from Ethiopia, apparently originating in and around Bonga in Southwest Jimma. It arrived in Colombia about 30 years ago, it’s long and pointed cherry has similar physical characteristics to that of Geisha. It also shares similar cup characteristics, with notes of jasmine, rose, lemon grass and stone fruit.

2017 saw the first international release of Wush Wush – in a collaboration between 4 roasting companies; Proud Mary and Grace & Taylor in Australia, Flight Coffee in New Zealand, and Assembly Coffee in England. Each company released a box-set containing three different processing methods (washed, honey, and natural) of Wush Wush – all from Finca El Zafiro. There's an article about the launch, from the time of release, here:

Finca El Zafiro is appropriately named – Zafiro means Sapphire, and it couldn’t be more spot on. Located 10km from Popayan between the Colombian Central and Western Mountain ranges, Zafiro is a paradise, the skies often glow burnt orange in the afternoon. Sitting at an impressive 2,100 masl, with consistent temperatures between 9°C and 22°C, and coffee cultivated in rich volcanic soil. It really is a special place – one that’s almost perfect for growing spectacular coffees.

The farm has existed for close to 100 years and has for most of that time been tended to by Nancy’s family who are indigenous to the land. Today the land is managed by Nancy, her husband Oscar, her father Ceferino, and their loyal dog Trotsky.

El Zafiro is planted mainly with Castillo, in addition to the Wush Wush. The Castillo variety was developed in Colombia to combat the leaf rust epidemic across the country. Nancy and Oscar planted it on El Zafiro 30 years ago after leaf rust decimated the vulnerable Bourbon and Typica trees they originally had growing.

We love supporting Nancy and Oscar - they are genuinely passionate coffee producers who focus on quality over high yields. That passion was rewarded in 2021, when they placed 3rd in the Colombian Cup of Excellence competition. Scoring 89.46, with a naturally processed Castillo.

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