In La Palma y El Tucán

Neighbors & crops

Rosalbina Bernal

Las Mercedes

Village: Anatoli, Cundinamarca
Altitude: 1600 M.A.S.L
Variety: Castillo

The Profile

At 72 years old, Doña Rosalbina is one of the eldest coffee growers in our program. Her farm is in the Anatoli trail, at 1600 meters above sea level. Rosalbina tells us she has grown coffee since she was 20 years old. She attributes her love for coffee from her late husband, a passionate coffee farmer who passed away almost 10 years ago. They started buying parchment coffee 50 years ago; soon after, they began renting out farm lots where they could grow their own coffee. With time they were able to raise enough money to buy their own farm – Las Mercedes – about 35 years ago. Doña Rosalbina has 3 children. Currently, she lives on the farm with one of her grandsons and his wife. Her son-in-law, Diositeo (another coffee grower from our program), assists her in maintaining her crops.

On her 1 hectare farm there are 3000 coffee plants of the Colombia and Castillo variety, planted strategically under the shade. Albeit her age, Rosalbina has believed in this project since the beginning. Before she became one of our loyal coffee growers, she used to sell wet parchment coffee to local buyers. She says it was very difficult to dry the coffees because she doesn’t have the infrastructure to do so, and she stresses that the humidity levels in the region are very high. Even though she produced good coffees, she wasn’t able to make reasonable prices because her coffees were never properly processed.

Being a part of our Neighbors & Crops program gives Doña Rosalbina more time to dedicate to her home, because our project is in charge of cherry picking and processing – labors that she cannot physically perform anymore. She feels grateful dedicating time to her beautiful home and garden.

Key Facts
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These facts were brought to you by Biodiversal

Proccesing Methods

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.