Neighbors & crops
Village: Cachipay, Cundinamarca
Altitude: 1400 M.A.S.L
Doña Nubia, inherited the farm Las Palmas 14 years ago. At the beginning, the 3.8 hectares were used for goat farming and cattle breeding. 7 years ago, Nubia decided to move, live and work at the farm with his husband José Martínez and their 2 children, and that was the time when they started growing coffee. Jose´s parents were traditional coffee growers from the Tolima department, so he proposed his wife and brother-in-law to turn the land into a productive coffee growing farm.
Jesus (nubia’s brother) and Nubia accepted the challenge and came to the agreement that Jose would be the person in charge of the farm. So Jesus provided his part of the land for Jose and Nubia to work it and distribute the profits accordingly.
Aside from coffee, the family also receives incomes from goat breeding, plantain and fruit plantations. This shows the reality of the growers in our region: they haven´t been able to live out of coffee, and are forced to look for new ways to ensure their subsistence. The local buyers to which they sell their parchment coffee aren’t paying enough for them to recover the investment.
For the main harvest of 2014, we finally convinced the family to work with us and become part of our Neighbors & Crops program. The main drivers of their decision were having access to our special Cherry Picking team (because they were struggling with the availability of skilled labor in the region) and being able to sell coffee cherries without having to process them with such limited resources and infrastructure at their farms, especially in the drying stage.
As well as most of the families in the region, currently their children are not interested in learning and working with coffee. Not being able to depend on coffee as an only source of income for the family is forcing younger generations to seek for new choices. Fortunately, their 2 children are studying (school and college) and we hope that with LA PALMA & EL TUCÁN, we can give them reasons to go back to farming and continue with their paren’s coffee knowledge and culture.
With Jesus, Jose, Nubia and the other growers that we worked with this year, we are setting milestones in our aim to recover and revitalize the coffee culture in our region.
This kind of fermentation is classified as ‘Anaerobic’ as oxygen has minimal interaction with the cherry. Once the cherries arrive at the mill, they are hand sorted and placed in sealed tanks. With no oxygen involved, bacteria feed on carbohydrates present in the mucilage favoring a higher concentration of Lactic Acid, creating a unique profile of the resulting cup.
The Honey Process begins with a pre-fermentation stage of 45 hours at the wet mill. From here the cherries will start the de-pulping stage, passing through three stages of quality control before removing a percentage of the skin. While the drying stage, coffee will be placed in African-style raised beds for over 15 days. Due to the levels of sugar and moisture, the first days will be crucial to avoid microbial activity prolongation. Finally parchment coffee will pass through the mechanical drying machines to end up the drying process.
This method involves a combination of stages found in lactic and acetic processing methods. First, all hand-sorted cherries will go through a short pre-fermentation step. Similar to lactic processing, the cherries are placed in airtight fermentation tanks with limited oxygen. Once removed from the tanks, we pass them through three levels of quality control before having the skin removed by a pulper machine. From there, we leave the beans resting in the fermentation tanks to undergo an acetic fermentation, agitating them from time to time. Once the process is completed, the beans are transferred to African-style raised beds to begin the drying phase.
Our Mixed Fermentation Processing produces a very balanced cup profile with medium to heavy body.
Through the Bioinnovation process, La Palma & El Tucán honors the main principles of organic farming. They first capture and reproduce microorganisms found in their farm’s beautiful forests, to create their own fermentation substrate. Then, they mix this substrate with perfectly ripen geisha cherries, in a clay pot for 100 hours. This combination allows them to create a sustainable closed cycle. After the fermentation, they remove the leftovers and reuse them as compost.
If you wish to request additional information about the processing of your microlot, such as fermentation time or type of drying, please let us know by filling this form.
We will get back to you soon with detailed information.
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