64 | La Cartagena

Producer
Jorge Cartagena
Description
Delicate, lime, honey, cocoa
Process
Washed, sun-dried
Varietals
Caturra, Colombia
Region
Antioquia
Elevation
1,950 meters
Position
Sold out
Warehouse
Continental, New Jersey
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.

33 | El Mango

Producer
Gilberto Giraldo
Description
Balanced, sugar cane, stone fruit, chocolate
Process
Washed
Varietals
Colombia, Castillo
Region
Antioquia
Elevation
1,800 meters
Position
Under Contract
Warehouse
Continental, New Jersey
Like other farms in the area, Gilberto and El Mango have experienced a couple of challenging years. The extended dry season a year ago diminished the production yield considerably. On top of that, the resurgence of activity among armed illegal groups in the region led to multiple displacements from the farm, including once during the harvest last year.

While these obstacles proved difficult to overcome, Gilberto took them in stride and is still planning for the upcoming years. He has new varietals that will be maturing soon and is excited to experiment with different processing methods (something he had intended to do this year). His unwavering commitment to El Mango is evident and we are equally committed to riding out the ups and downs with him.

84 | La Soledad

Producer
Ivan Montoya
Description
Vibrant, citrus, lemongrass, honey
Process
Washed
Varietals
Chiroso
Region
Antioquia
Elevation
2,050 meters
Position
Sold out
Warehouse
Continental, New Jersey
A native of Urrao, Antioquia, Ivan began his coffee endeavors after inheriting a piece of land from his grandparents called La Soledad. Over the last 14 years, Ivan has developed about 3,000 Chiroso trees and credits the elevation of the farm, over 2,000 meters above sea level, as the secret ingredient to the high quality coffee he produces. In addition, the fertile soil allows for diversification as he also produces avocados and naranjilla.

Ivan is certainly proud of the coffee he produces, but he is even more humbled that it allows him to provide for his aging grandparents. 

75 | La Arboleda

Producer
Alberto Montoya
Description
Sweet, green tea, peach, lemongrass
Process
Washed, sun-dried
Varietals
Chiroso
Region
Antioquia
Elevation
2,050 meters
Position
Under Contract
Warehouse
Continental, New Jersey
Alberto grew up in the Urrao region and has many memories of working on coffee plantations. He eventually saved up enough money to purchase La Arboleda and began growing his own coffee. This proved to be a good investment as it is still home to Alberto and his wife of thirty-two years, Maria.
Aside from coffee,  Alberto is also the president of the Junta de Accion Comunal in the region.

As a leader, he is always trying to improve the livelihood of the community through development and projects such as roads and bridges. He wants all the families in his community to have access to opportunities and believes direct trade (near and far) can help everyone succeed.

28 | La Paloma

Producer
Alfredo Piedrahita
Description
Honey, sugar cane, milk chocolate, cherry
Process
Washed
Varietals
Castillo, Caturra
Region
Antioquia
Elevation
2,000 meters
Position
Under Contract
Warehouse
Continental, New Jersey
Growing up at El Chupadero, Alfredo inherited his father’s passion for coffee. When the time came to purchase his own land, he chose to stay in the area known for its unique, fertile soil. However, his 18 years at La Paloma are not something to be taken for granted. In 2000, illegal groups came to the area. They killed several people including one of his brothers and one of his cousins. After enduring these hardships, there was hope of stability in the Colombian government’s peace treaty with the FARC. Unfortunately, different illegal groups are still interested in the illicit enterprises left behind in the wake of this treaty. 

We are particularly proud of the relationships developed around this coffee. For the fifth year in a row, the same roaster has purchased this lot. Alfredo works hard to continually provide a great product and the customers know who they are supporting and where their coffee is from. We love being able to bring people together over a cup of coffee.

Last year we had the opportunity of introducing Alfredo to the roaster that has been buying his coffee. Unfortunately we were unable to make it to La Paloma due to security concerns, but we arranged for a meeting in the town of Ituango. We had the opportunity to share and enjoy his excellent coffee with all the people that make it possible. It was a memorable cup of coffee!

65 | La Primavera

Producer
Lizardo Montoya
Description
Floral, brown sugar, butter, lime
Process
Washed
Varietals
Chiroso
Region
Antioquia
Elevation
2,000 meters
Position
Under contract
Warehouse
Continental, New Jersey
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. 

60 | El Balso

Producer
Walter Vargas
Description
Juicy, citrus, sugar cane, floral
Process
Washed
Varietals
Castillo, Tabi
Region
Antioquia
Elevation
2,100 meters
Position
Sold out
Warehouse
Continental, New Jersey
Located in Betulia, El Balso originally belonged to Walter’s grandparents. Passed down through generations, it is now home to Walter, his wife, Gloria, their son, and Walter’s mother. As a true family business, everyone helps out with the daily activities and maintenance. 

Of the 5,000 coffee trees planted, 2,000 are currently pruned and not producing coffee for this harvest. The other 3,000 consist  of Castillo Rosario and Tabi varietals which will account for roughly 8 bags of beans. With this smaller scale production, Walter believes he is better able to focus on both carefully selecting cherries and processing them. 

Budgeting for maintenance and upgrades is tough with narrow profit margins, but Walter recently replaced the plastic on one of his two marquesinas (drying bed). He would like to install pipes to transport the picked cherries from the field to the wet mill as well. We are hopeful that our financing opportunities and profit sharing business model will support his endeavors.
 

69 | El Roble

Producer
Albeiro Ramirez
Description
Juicy, floral, jasmin, lemongrass
Process
Washed
Varietals
Chiroso
Region
Antioquia
Elevation
2,000 meters
Position
Sold out
Warehouse
Continental, New Jersey
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.
 

30 | El Edén

Producer
Francisco Giraldo
Description
Sweet, sugar cane, butter, lime
Process
Washed
Varietals
Castillo, Caturra
Region
Antioquia
Elevation
1,850 meters
Position
Under contract
Warehouse
Continental, New Jersey
Our strong relationship with Francisco has helped us work through some particularly challenging times over the past two years. A resurgence of activity among illegal paramilitary groups in the area had a direct impact on the farmers and their families. With multiple displacements during the harvest, Francisco and his wife, Amparo, were forced to leave cherries in the fields, pack their belongings, and move the family to the nearest town in search of safety.

Francisco continues to look towards the future and it does not surprise us that he remains so dedicated in the face of adversity. He has lived through many years of armed conflict and fell victim to a landmine himself in 2009. Lucky to escape with his life, he lost one eye as well as his sense of taste and smell. However, his dedication to his coffee never faltered. He grew up working with coffee alongside his father at El Edén and chose to continue the legacy after his father passed away.

92 | El Arrayan – Gesha

Producer
Jhon Valencia
Description
Delicate, floral, lemongrass, green tea
Process
Washed
Varietals
Gesha
Region
Antioquia
Elevation
2,100 meters
Position
Under contract
Warehouse
Continental, New Jersey
One of Finca El Arrayan’s greatest assets is it’s location – high altitude, volcanic soil, ideal microclimate. Unfortunately, the farm’s greatest weakness is also it’s location – previously a FARC stronghold, Ituango is now caught in the post-conflict crosshairs. While the peace treaty brought an agreement between the government and FARC, it has opened the door for new armed groups to move in, each vying for a slice of the illicit enterprise left behind. People now live with a bag packed, ready to leave on short notice, and there have already been a few displacements in the last two years.
 
On a more positive note, Jhon remains dedicated to his coffee and we are very excited to be offering his Gesha varietal. We’ve been working with him since he started these trees in his nursery and patiently waited for them to mature. Despite the uncertainty and challenges, Jhon remains committed to producing great coffee and we are proud to share it with you.