Meet Our Farmers

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62 | La Loma

Wilmar Montoya

Ever the traditionalist, Wilmar is one of the few producers in Colombia that still grows the caturra varietal at his farm. The delicate coffee varietal is very susceptible to diseases such as leaf rust or infestations of "la broca", causing many farmers to opt for sturdier hybrids. However, the combination of La Loma's altitude and Wilmar's dedication have allowed the caturra coffee to thrive. Over 70% of the coffee produced at La Loma is caturra and the rest is variedad colombia (a caturra hybrid). Wilmar lives at La Loma with his wife, Erika, and two daughters, Valentina and Luciana. He has been working with coffee for about 17 years but is only beginning his journey into specialty coffee. He is diving right in and already making improvements to enhance the quality of his coffee. We are very excited about our new relationship with Wilmar and see a lot of potential. The location of the farm, at over 2,000 meters above sea level, and the coffee varietals grown already bring a lot to the table. The future at La Loma is certainly bright.

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64 | La Cartagena

Jorge Cartagena

Like many of the farmers we work with, Jorge learned the art of producing coffee from his father. However, after inheriting his father's small coffee farm, he chose to sell it. With the money from that sale he was able to purchase La Cartagena, a farm that has allowed him to pursue the production of specialty coffee. He now has 4,500 coffee trees planted - a combination of Caturra and Colombia varietals. As he continually works to enhance the quality of his coffee, Jorge already has plans to improve both his water supply and his wet beneficio. Proud of his profession, Jorge is also teaching his children how to grow coffee. He hopes the family tradition will continue for many generations to come.

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65 | La Primavera

Lizardo Montoya

Lizardo lives with his wife Luz Dary at La Primavera. They have been working with coffee for about 11 years and currently have trees of the Chiroso varietal at the farm. Chiroso is a relatively new varietal which is endemic to the region of Urrao, Antioquia, Colombia. A natural mutation of old-growth caturra, the beans are larger and have an oblong shape. As this varietal gains recognition from importers and roasters, Lizardo is excited about the opportunity to grow relationships that will lead to sustainable prices. With a more predictable income, he would be able to budget for upgrades to the drying facilities at La Primavera. Even at 56 years of age, he is always looking for ways to improve. 

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66 | Las Palmeras

Carlos Correa

Born into a coffee family, Carlos Correa began accompanying his father on the farm as soon as he could walk. It was not long before he was helping pick cherries, turning beans in the drying beds, and pruning older trees. This lifetime of experience made it an easy choice when he was presented the opportunity to purchase Finca Las Palmeras in 2013. Coming full circle, he now lives at Las Palmeras with his wife, Luz Teresa, and their 6 six children. The whole family works on the farm where they grow both Castillo and Chinchina varietals. The 7,000 coffee trees are of various ages so even with the pruning cycles, they will have plants yielding cherries for every harvest. The children also have their own nursery where they are planning to plant 4,000 more trees so they can add the Caturra and Chiroso varietals to the farm as well.

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68 | El Silencio

José Flores

A farmer all his life, José only shifted to coffee production when he purchased El Silencio nine years ago. The small farm is home to him and his wife, Martha Lucia, and is planted with 5,000 coffee trees. Of those trees, only 2,500 are old enough to produce coffee now. The decision to operate on a smaller scale was deliberate. All of the coffee planted at El Silencio is the delicate chiroso varietal. While it is more susceptible to disease, José believes the risk pays off with the quality of the cup. By keeping his farm small, José can monitor all stages of the harvest and processing carefully to assure the health of his plants and the caliber of his coffee. 

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69 | El Roble

Albeiro Ramirez

Already situated 2,000 meters above sea level, El Roble also benefits from the unique microclimate of the Penderisco river valley which is created by ocean winds and the surrounding mountains. This region is also the home of the Chiroso varietal of which Albeiro planted trees in 2015. While, based on tree age, the plantation is young, Albeiro's experience and commitment make this lot one not to miss. Although there is certainly room for expansion at El Roble, Albeiro does not plan to plant more trees any time soon. With the lack of workers during the harvesting season and the cost of adapting his drying facilities to accommodate more coffee, he prefers to concentrate on quality over quantity. He will proudly share with you that he has participated in the Cup of Excellence competition for the last two years. However, what would ultimately make Albeiro the proudest, is his grandson taking over El Roble one day.

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