Lopez family have been cultivating coffee on Finca Puerto Alegre and Finca La Esperanza for over 3 generations and their experience combines with this innovative processing method to create a complex, fruity, and floral cup.
Finca Puerto Alegre is divided into parcels that are in the mountains surrounding the town of Pijao. Further up the mountain, the Castillo, Mocha/Moka and Geisha varieties are each planted on their own designated plots. The nursery is also located among these higher plots.
Coffee at Puerto Alegre is shade grown and has been since their patriarch, Don Moises, made the decision to maintain his shade cover in the 1970s, when many other producers were transitioning to full sun exposure.
Today, Leucaena (river tamarind) is the main shade tree planted on the farm. The tree’s roots fix nitrogen and, since it sheds its leaves every 3 months, a great source of biomass for producing organic fertilizer. This periodic shedding also reduces pruning costs.
Due to weather patterns, Finca Puerto Alegre produces coffee year-round. The Lopez family fertilizes and prunes trees on a regular schedule to keep plants healthy and productive.
Each lot receives a “birth certificate” that documents and maintain traceability throughout processing. They record the usual basics – variety, processing method, weight, plot, date picked – and additional fermentation information – time fermentation starts and ends, pH of the sample at different stages and more – to make the method as repeatable as possible.
Cherry is selectively handpicked. In the field, pickers use a refractometer to ensure cherry is a peak ripeness when picked. Cherry rests overnight and is then analysed again to ensure Brix content is still within optimal range and then fermented in sealed bags for 2 to 4 days.
The temperature of the coffee is controlled throughout the maceration process and kept between 15 and 17 degrees Celsius. The temperature is controlled through the constant injection of water gathered from the process into the airtight barrels. The process takes from 60-72 hours to complete.
Then cherry is laid on raised beds in parabolic driers. Jairo keeps careful track of the temperature within the drier and uses ventilation to control temperature and humidity to ensure even drying. Cherry is raked frequently to ensure even drying. It takes approximately 25 to 30 days for cherry to dry.
In the taste you will find Cuba Libre, a red apple in caramel with a slight hint of vanilla.