Maria Bercelia – Colombia


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

Process : Washed
Region : Acevedo, Huila
Altitude (masl) : 1770m
Harvest Method : Handpicking
FOB : 7,80$ / kg

We are really happy to get Maria Bercelia’s coffee back on our coffee menu. The coffee grows on Maria  Bercelia’s farm called Los Angeles in Acevedo, Colombia. That is a municipality in the southeast corner of the Huila department. Acevedos climate has a wide diversity in humidity, temperature and rainfall, which leads to differing but ideal coffee-growing conditions. And the variety found in the cup profiles coming from Acevedo really reflect this diversity of microclimates. The coffees are anything but uninteresting, they are incredibly sweet, complex and fruited cups.

The coffees that grow in higher elevations are typically denser and have higher perceived acidity in the cup. Partly this is due to an increase to UV radiation but also by the larger diurnal swings that happen in these altitudes. The cooler nights also lead to slower cherry maturation that helps the beans gather more sweetness and complexity in flavour.

Maria Bercelia Martinez

Maria Bercelia’s family’s path to specialty coffee farming isn’t one of the easiest ones. After running a hardware store for many years in a city torn between different paramilitarian groups she and her husband had to flee to the safer region in the county side of Huila. Here they used they savings to purchase a piece of land to start their coffee farm Los Angeles. Since they had no knowledge over coffee farming they hired a local farmer to teach them about cultivation, cup quality and how it affects on the price paid for the coffee.

With great dedication, hard work and the help of Fairfield Trading company  Maria Bercelia and her family have 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.

Fairfield Trading

Alejandro Renjifo, Fairfield’s founder and president, has a background as a coffee economist. He held long stints at both the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and the Federación Nacionale de Cafeteros de Colombia (FNC) and he’s been responsible for launching the FNC’s specialty division in North America. This happened during a time when Colombian coffee was mainly characterized by a fictional character,  Juan Valdéz. Alejandro pushed the FNC to recognise the incredible diversity of Colombian terroir.

While his background is impressive there’s more to his team at Fairfield trading to inspire confidence in their work. They value and have cultivated excellent palates as well as possessing a keen sense of how to forge good and interpersonal relations with each smallholder with whom they work. Understanding and finding the balance between these two elements of procuring specialty requires great skill.