By Christina, Dailyshotofcoffee.com/TodayColombia

Since I began to look into Organic and Fair Trade practices and how they affect the quality of life, not only for us but for those who grow our food and drink, I have become more and more impressed with the companies to which I am introduced who employ or support these practices. Add to the list One Village Coffee.

The philosophy over at One Village Coffee runs along the lines of “We support growers, pickers, sellers. We roast their organic, fair trade offerings. You support us by drinking our offerings. You thus support growers, pickers, sellers. We all become community, one village, so to speak.”

Not only does OVC support local coffee growers in various parts of the world, they also support a “featured project” that improves the quality of life for the areas from which they purchase coffee beans.

I had a feeling I’d stumbled across something special when I pulled out the retro-looking bag of light roast Colombia Valle de Cauca. The packaging, along with the sweet scent faintly available through the packaging, beckoned me to partake.

The Drink: Colombia Valle de Cauca “La Esperanza”
Type: Single Origin, Light Roast, Whole Bean
Overall Rating: 3.15 out of 5 mugs

OVC’s description of Colombia Valle de Cauca “La Esperanza” is impressive: The La Esperanza farm grows “great coffee and protect[s] what already exists so it may be here for the future.” These high elevation-grown beans (1450-1650 meters) are grown near the shores of the Cauca River and “picked only at the peak of ripeness.” The result was a tempting cup of coffee, even for this medium-dark roast gal.

The scent upon opening the bag was fresh, nutty, and rich. There was a touch of fruit, and yes, even a hint of chocolate in that inhale. The appearance of the beans themselves was even more appealing: two-toned morsels of chocolaty-looking goodness surrounding a caramel colored center. I went straight to work, plugging in my new Bodum Bistro Electric Grinder, heating my water on the stove, and letting my new Bodum Brazil French Press do it’s thing. Being a dark roast coffee lover, I added an extra scoop of beans, not quite full to my grinder.

I took my time breathing in the scents from the brewed coffee in my cup: again, rich, lightly chocolaty, nothing overpowering. Even the color in the cup was rich and dark. It was a smooth drink on the tongue, not bitter, and with a nice aftertaste. The hint of chocolate I perceived in the scent at first was most prevalent in the aftertaste, and the fruity scent became a fruity exclamation point the longer I sipped. Neither chocolate nor fruit were overpowering in any way, but worked together to provide an enjoyable afternoon cup of energy.

The second cup I shared with my husband, also prepared in my Bodum French Press. This time, being a larger amount of coffee, the scent of mocha filled the room. I had the impression of entering a quaint college town coffee bar as this cup was brewing. This cup, too, lived up even more so to the “clean” description on the label. The aroma was very crisp, very fresh.

We finally tried our Colombia Valle de Cauca in the trusty Mr. Coffee drip coffeemaker. Again, as the coffeemaker did its duty, that sweet mocha scent filled the room. In fact, my husband actually preferred it from the Mr. Coffee rather than from the French Press. The drip maker brewed a stronger cup of coffee and actually tasted more mocha-esque. This preference is actually the suggested form of brewing from OVC.

Colombia Valle de Cauca is available online at onevillagecoffee.com for the majority of us. A 12 ounce bag is $12.50. Those of you mainly in the Northeast of the country can check for a shop or store near you here.

In my humble opinion, this would be a great option for the newest of coffee drinkers to the most seasoned of veterans. Even preferring darker roasts, I enjoyed and anticipated each subsequent cup.