(more info soon!)
Orlando is a third generation coffee farmer, and he works with wife and his son Gesler, who help with the processing of the coffee, to carry on the family’s legacy of growing excellent coffees in La Libertad. It was 1985 when his grandfather Javier started to plant coffee on a small plot, and over the years Orlando’s father and grandfather made improvements in their wet mill and purchased additional small parcels of land.
The coffee leaf rust epidemic decimated this plot about a decade ago, and Orlando used this setback to diversify the varieties of coffee plants growing on the farm. He keeps an assortment of varieties that are more resistant to rust, some more traditional varieties that are less resistant, and in 2015 he added in some exotic varieties such as Gesha and Paramara. This passion for experimentation and innovation has guided the family toward success in producing high quality coffees.
Orlando and his family process this coffee at their home wet mill, which is at a relatively high altitude of 1600 meters. The coffee is depulped the same day it is picked, typically 6 hours or less after picking. The coffee is then wet fermented with an amount of water roughly equivalent to the volume of the coffee, and this fermentation lasts around 32 hours. After the coffee is washed, they allow the coffee to soak for an additional 12 hours in clean water in a tank.
The coffee is then moved to a patio, where it dries for about 5-6 hours per day for 6 days. Once it is dry, they store it carefully until it is moved to our warehouse, then transported to our dry mill for processing and preparation for export.
Orlando: “Between the years of 1985 and 1995, back when the harvests were much smaller, my father Orlando Sr. personally took charge of updating the harvesting practices. He brought all the coffee from the field to the wet mill in plastic sacks; back then, he didn’t have a vehicle to transport the coffee and there wasn’t even a road to put a vehicle on! Today, they are able to transport both coffee and workers to and from the edge of the farm in a truck.”