A Look at the Specs Farm: Finca Veracruz Varietal(s): Colombia & Caturra Processing: Extended fermentation, washed & dried on raised beds Altitude: 1 650 masl Owner: Echavarria family Town: Amaga […]
A Look at the Specs
Farm: Finca Veracruz
Varietal(s): Colombia & Caturra
Processing: Extended fermentation, washed & dried on raised beds
Altitude: 1 650 masl
Owner: Echavarria family
The estate and its history
The Santa Barbara Estate is composed of 5 farms that lie across three neighbouring regions – Santa Barbara, Fredonia and Amagá – and was established in the 1980sm and from the beginning Sr. Pedro Echavarria knew that location was crucial and was attracted by diverse micro-climates, rich soils, ideal altitude and a tradition of excellence in coffee production. He established a small farm in the high Andes of Antioquia. By combining these perfect natural conditions with hard work and efficiency, Pedro quickly grew both the area under cultivation and the farm’s reputation.
In the last five years, Pedro’s son (Pedro Jr.) has become more intensely involved in the workings of the farm. Pedro Jr. is taking the already high quality of the coffee to new heights through experimentation in processing and increased monitoring and control of every stage of production.
Veracruz extended fermentation
“The Veracruz lots come from one of the Estate’s smaller farms, composed of 16 hectares of coffee and a small mill. Each Veracruz lot is comprised of between 3 to 5 days’ picking. Each day, pulped beans are added to a fermentation tank with the previous days’ pickings. In this method of ‘extended’ fermentation, each consecutive batch raises the ph level (i.e. makes more alkaline) of the fermentation tank, permitting longer fermentation times that will produce a fruit-forward cup but without the acetic acid produced by bacteria at a low ph. Interestingly, the inspiration for the process was taken from small farmers throughout Antioquia and Huila, who often have two or three day fermentation as their farms are so small that one day’s picking is often not sufficient to make up an entire lot. Pedro and Leo have worked to perfect the process and adapt it for larger-scale production.” Mercanta Limited (www.coffeehunter.com)
Santa Bárbara Estate employs 60 people all year round. Half of these also receive free housing within the farm for themselves and their families. A further 1 200 pickers are hired during the main harvest, these are mainly farmers from around the Santa Bárbara Estate who pick coffee to supplement their income. The estate also runs an extensive scholarship and financial aid program for worker’s children as well as helping long-standing employees to acquire their own piece of land upon retirement.
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