Los Angeles – Colombia

FLAVOR NOTES:
RIPE CHERRIES, BERRIES, SATURATED SWEETNESS, ELEGANT, CLEAN

Farm : Los Angeles
Owners : Maria Bercelia Martinez and Jose Erazo
Varieties : Caturra and Colombia F.6

Process : Washed
Region : Acevedo, Huila
Altitude (masl) : 1770m
Harvest Method : Handpicking

Maria Bercelia Martinez

Maria Bercelia Martinez got into the coffee business when she happened to buy the Los Angeles farm with her partner Jose Erazo. Before this she had no experience in coffee and instead had her background in the commercial business.  In the beginning they had a very few resources but the made the best they could with them. They started their work days at 4 am with a long walk to the nearest road to catch the first cars passing at 6 am.

With this great dedication, hard work and the help of Fairfield Trading company  Maria Bercelia and her family has been successful in turning their business focus to specialty coffee. Their passion to quality was rewarded in 2016 when their family’s coffees occupied two places in the final of the Collaborative Coffee Source’s Acevedo Cup – a regional coffee quality competition by CCS and Fairfield trading.

Future plans

Maria’s family’s future plans include growing both in varieties and production. Also they plan to plant three more varieties, including Geisha and remodel their washing station. For the latter the construction are already on their way. Their dedication and thrive to greater quality have also resulted in higher interest to better their processing. At the moment they are especially keen to better the drying in order to end up with even better results for their customers in roasting the coffee. All this hard work is a sign of deep passion to producing quality coffee. As a result of all this work Maria Bercelia hopes to see her coffee being recognized in world.

Acevedo, Huila

Acevedo is municipality in the southeast corner of the Huila department. It is known for it’s diverse micro climates which make it a very prominent coffee-growing region due to it’s diverse micro climates. Also it boasts with rich variety of tropical fruits, flowers, birds and insects.

 

Buena Vista – Guatemala

FLAVOR NOTES:
SWEET APPLE, MARZIPAN, MILK CHOCOLATE

Farm : Buena Vista
Owner : Luis Pedro Zelaya Aguirre
Variety : Bourbon

Process : Washed
Region : Antigua
Altitude (masl) : 1772-1900m
Harvest Method : Handpicking

Buena Vista is a reasonably big farm situated in the outskirts of the town of Antigua. It occupies some 80ha of beautiful mountain range cultivating mostly Bourbon, Caturra and Catuai varieties, but in the future there are also plans to plant Geisha. The around 250 000 trees on the farm are pruned yearly from their seventh year and replanted every 30 years. The farm is owned by Luis Pedro Zelaya Aguirre who is the patriarch of the Zelaya coffee family.

Zelaya family

Zelayas have been in the coffee business for generations and play a significant role in the coffee scene in Antigua. Luis Pedro’s son not only bears his fathers name but also carries on with his work. He is now the fourth generation of his family in the coffee business. Because of his involvement in the family business the Zelaya’s have been able to turn their focus solely on specialty coffee. The Zelaya’s own and manage several coffee farms and run a famous dry mill by the name of Bella Vista. On their mill they focus on careful and innovative processing of the delicate micro lots. Zelayas have implemented ventilated greenhouses with raised beds to ensure and better the results of coffee processing. Due to this careful and consistent work results in very personal and unique cup quality from year to year.

Zelayas don’t consider their coffee endeavours only as business. For them it’s also a form of building a basis for their family and the community for years to come. They are providing the community with jobs, education, training and knowledge and also constantly looking to improve their agricultural activities to reduce chemicals and to better the quality.

Miguel Moreno – Honduras

FLAVOR NOTES:
CLOUDBERRY JAM, CHOCOLATE, CREAMY MOUTHFEEL

Farm : El Filo
Owner : Miguel Moreno
Variety : Pacas

Process : Washed
Region : Santa Barbara
Micro Region : El Cedral
Altitude (masl) : 1550m
Harvest Method : Handpicking

We at Populus met Miguel Moreno up at his farm “El Filo” surrounded by passing clouds and ripe red cherries. He kindly led us through his routines and practises in managing his lot, surrounded by lots of his son, brothers and father. “El Filo” is situated on hilltop spreading both sides of a steep mountain range. For harvesting it’s a challenge, but creates a microclimate for each of the lots due to their different exposure on sun, winds and altitude.

As a farmer Miguel Moreno represents the very idea of sustainable and open trading of which Populus is built upon. Having started from scratch, he saw the opportunities that cultivating high quality coffee could offer. Him and his brothers also created a strong relationship with the green coffee merchant Collaborative Coffee Source from early on. With devotion and hard work he and his brothers have become important figures of the specialty coffee coming from Honduras and also role models for their whole community.

The Moreno family manages a wet mill. They pulp, ferment, wash and dry their coffee on raised tables covered for protection from the unstable and humid mountain climate. Being able to control the processing of the coffee gives them a great advantage. The variety Pacas grown in the Santa Barbara area has a taste profile quite different from the typical central-american cup. It’s complexity, florality and delicate acidity is what we love it for.

Moreno family’s path to specialty coffee

Miguel’s father, Daniel Moreno – patriarch of the Moreno family – wanted to give up coffee farming 10 years ago. At this point, the sons had all moved to the US to work and earn a better living. In 2005 Moreno’s neighbour, Mr Benitez won the Honduras Cup of Excellence. He was unable to make it to the ceremony and asked Miguel to accept the prize on his behalf. This experience opened Miguel’s eyes to the world of specialty coffee. He  then managed to convince his father and whole family not to give up on coffee farming but instead put great efforts in producing quality coffee. Daniel Moreno split up his farm, El Filo, into five lots, one for himself and one for each brother. Already two years later the Moreno family submitted their first coffees to the Cup of Excellence competition with Miguel’s lot placing 4th and scoring 90.6 points.

In 2010  Miguel and his brothers started looking for a buyer for all the coffee produced at El Filo. His hard work and dedication led CCS to enter into a long-term partnership with the entire Moreno family. Nowadays the brothers have bought more land at higher altitudes and decided to plant more unique varieties. The brothers still work very closely together even though all of their lots are produced separately. Due to the different microclimates on their lots and these individualised processing practices each lot cups distinctly and differently.