Finca La Loma - Washed - Espresso
Finca La Loma
Farm: Finca La Loma
Varietal: Caturra & Colombia
Processing: 36 hours fermentation, fully washed
Altitude: 1,980 metres above sea level
Owner: Javier Golondrino
Town / City: Palestina
Region: La Plata, Huila
Brown sugar, honedew melon, dry pineapple, papaya and tea.
As a young student in La Plata, Javier Golondrino (the farmer of La Loma) used to help his father pick coffee every season. The money that he made helped him to pay his transport cost to and from school. When Javier turned 15, knowing that he had a knack and a love for farming, his father gifted him a small part of the family farm with only 1,000 trees. With love, dedication and patience (not to mention incredible levels of hard work), Javier has managed to grow his small parcel of land into a reasonably-sized farm of 2 hectares and now cares for 10,000 Caturra and Colombia trees high in the hills surrounding the small town of La Plata in Colombia’s Huila department. He calls his small farm ‘La Loma’ (meaning ‘the hill’) simply in honor of the hill upon which it lies.
It was only about a year ago that members of the large cooperative to which Javier belonged – in Colombia’s remote Huila department – realized that their location and passion for coffee farming gave them a special edge when it came to producing high quality coffee. Seeing some of the quality initiatives and micro-lot separation that forward-thinking cooperatives around Colombia were exploring, a small group of about 20 producers broke off from the larger regional cooperative to establish their own organization – named Aprocoagrosh (quite a mouthful) - in early 2014.
Javier hand harvests all his coffee, sorting out any underripe or damaged cherries before pulping. He then pulps each day’s picking on the same day it is picked. Finca La Loma is so small that two days worth of picking are often ‘married’ into a single lot. Each day’s picking is pulped separately, of course; however, the coffee picked on the second day is added to the first after 24 hours fermentation and then left to ferment in the tanks for a further 12 hours. In this method of fermentation, the second batch raises the ph level of the fermentation tank, permitting longer fermentation times without the acetic acid produced by bacteria at a lower ph level. This process is common among small farmers throughout Antioquia and Huila, whos farms are so small that one day’s picking is often not sufficient to make up an entire lot. While a consequence of circumstances, when done properly and with attention to detail, the process results in a distinctive, even and controlled fruit-forward cup.
After fermenting, coffee is then washed in cool, clean water, and finally delivered to dry on parabolic beds under the sun. These parabolic beds, known locally as marquesinas – which are constructed a bit like ‘hoop house’ greenhouses, with airflow ensured through openings in both ends – both protect the parchment from rain and mist as it is dried and prevent condensation from dripping back on the drying beans. Javier does finish some coffee on patios, as well.