What is Chiroso ?

Chiroso might not taste like it but it’s your most Colombian Colombian bean. It is said to be called Chiroso for two reasons. First because it looks like a chiro , a type of stretchy shirt. And the bean does look a bit stretched out. But I prefer the second version, which says that the bean looks like an “achira” a gluten free little biscuit from Huila .

One thing is sure it doesn’t taste like an achira but as mentioned it doesn’t exactly taste like Colombian coffee citric and chocolatey. It is much more floral maybe like something from the south west of Ethiopia. Some have called it Colombian Gesha, I’m not really sure I get that. Yes it is aromatic, yes you can have very interesting cups. But the flavor profile is really different. Also I have had a fair share of disappointing Chirosos, not that many disappointing Gesha.

In my view Chiroso is not a very easy bean. I have had numerous cups that tasted just too grassy. It needs to be cared for to give developed results. So far I didn’t have any Chiroso that didn’t have some sort of herbal aspect to it. And it can be a very pleasant herbal feeling, but the line between underdeveloped and burned can easily be crossed. If that line is properly managed then you can have some award winning coffee.

The first Chiroso we decided to add to our lineup became my daily driver after we tasted it. I think it is a pretty accessible and familiar coffee profile for the morning. It also has complexity and some acidity to be appreciated like an afternoon tea.

Chiroso has shown to the national scene to be one of the best coffees, despite being a minor crop it took 6 spots at the Colombia Land of Diversity best 30 coffees event. We can compare that to the 7 spots taken by Geisha, which is also a minor crop, but much more popular than Chiroso.

The history of Chiroso

A farmer finds a farmer who finds a farmer. That farmer shares beans to the other farmer who shares it with the other farmer. All of that happened in the little Urrao municipality in Antioquia. At the end of these handings we have Carmen Cecilia Montoya Patiño who took that bean cared for it and made it a star. In 2014 she decided to go to Cup of Excellence and present the marvel she cherished. Actually that year Urrao got two coffees in the top 3 with Pablo Emilio Montoya Caro getting third place. Carmen got first place a sweet $117,449.00 check for her hard work.

Caturra Chiroso or Bourbon Chiroso?

Neither. To this day it is still called Caturra Chiroso (see Colombia land of diversity or cup of excellence comps) even though it has been shown to not belong to the Caturra category or the Bourbon. It is actually just an ethiopian landrace acording to an RD2 Vision genetic study.

Sources (where all our knowledge comes from)