We participate in a handful of these auctions each season, which allows a producer to showcase their coffees to a broad audience. This coffee immediately stood out to us after we tasted it, being one of the clearest expressions of Gesha that we've seen in some time. Read below for more history, written by the producer of this stunning coffee.
"Our farm's history dates from XIX century, when Antonio López Colom started working in the farm. It was until 1960 that Mario De La Cerda, and his wife Maria Colom (next in the successor’s line of Colom) bought a big farm composed in three properties: El Socorro, San Guayabá, and Rio Arriba. Bringing back these lands to the original family owners.
His son, Juan De la Cerda Colom began managing the farm. He had always wanted to plant coffee. His father allowed him under one condition: “Never become indebted”. In 1999 Diego de la Cerda (3th generation owner) began to manage the farm and make some changes not only in the production, but also in the coffee processing. Coffee has been grown in this land since 1980. Right now the farm produces many varietals and exports coffee to more than 15 clients over the world.
The richness and quality of our coffee is what makes us really proud. We have caused plenty of positive impact on surrounding land where people, are aware of our work ethic and love working with us. There are many workers that are constantly looking forward for job openings at our land sight.
The farm is located at a very high altitude which allows the coffee to have an exceptional quality and taste. Traditionally, coffee plants were grown under shade trees. We have left the native shade trees of the zone, just to maintain the biodiversity intact. That has been one big factor that has improved the quality of our cup.
Over the last 15 years, our milling process has evolved. Instead of using cold water, we have applied hot water to speed up the fermentation process. In this shorter period of fermentation, the coffee grain keeps its density. It also helps maintain the grain’s components pure and natural ( sugars, oils, etc.). We do take a lot of care managing our plantations, making sure that the coffee trees receive all the nutrition and pest control needed."
CUP OF EXCELLENCE
Since 1999, the COE program has sought to connect developing coffee producers from around the world to roasters willing to pay a premium on their coffee. In each country that the Cup of Excellence takes place, thousands of coffees are vetted and put through one of the most rigorous quality panels a coffee can undergo. After dozens of industry-standard cuppers evaluate the coffee, a rank begins to form as scores are input and averaged out. This process yields a clear winning coffee, as well as a top-ten rank that will be auctioned off to roasters around the world. This auction process promotes higher premiums paid to farmers while operating on a transparency-based infrastructure. These premiums paid to farmers motivate them to reinvest in the harvest, while also placing a precedent that they can be rewarded and recognized for a harvest of exemplary quality.
Thank you to both the ACE and to Alejo Castro for supplying information to make this write-up (and coffee) possible.