Today we visited the Banexport farm, Finca Juan Martin, located in Cauca at 2050 meters. They created this farm because they believe that in order to help the producers who they work with, they need to be experiencing what their producers are experiencing, and providing them with firsthand, research-backed guidance.
There are 13 different varieties of coffee grown here, and each of them have been studied to determine the ideal fermentation and drying processes. The cherries in my hand in the photo (see below) are what ripe cherries look like of the pink bourbon variety. I learned that one of the reasons pink bourbon is more expensive is that the parchment weighs more than other coffee varieties, causing the final product to weigh less and therefore need to be bought at a higher price to be lucrative - plus, they don’t use any pesticides.
Banexport also runs Manos Juntas, which purchases unprocessed coffee cherries from producers for a price above AA quality. This takes the responsibility of processing off the producers and guarantees that they are paid immediately for their product instead of having to wait until processing is over. Along with benefiting growers, this is a good practice for the environment, as it keeps waste-water from the pulping process from polluting the farms.
There is a long, 8-hour bus ride ahead, but some other random highlights of the day include:
- Eating the best avocado toast EVER. Seasoned toast with a spread similar to cream cheese, topped with avocado and a poached egg.
We all took a nice hike/walk through farm. Realized we are not accustomed to the altitude because many of us were out of breath walking back up to the top!
Was able to experience Cafe 18, owned and operated by regionally award-winning roaster and barista. Bringing back the coffee he has won a brewing competition with. Jibbi Little (the Aeropress champ, also on this trip!), and him both brewed the coffee and we tasted it - so fun!
- Check out what the locals call "stick bird"!
That's all for now. See you on the next blog for Day 3!
- Emily, Lead Roaster