PRODUCERS: Alexander Hernandez + Leidy Jhoana Vargas
LOCATION: Pitalito, Huila, Colombia
ALTITUDE: 1,700 MASL
HARVEST: First semester: March - April Second semester: August - October PROCESSING METHOD: Traditionally fully washed and fermented for 24 hours.
SHADE: Cachingos, guamos, and plantain
DRYING METHOD: Shade dried in covered patio and raised drying beds
PREPARATION: Excelso EP Screen 15+ SCA Specialty Grade.
Alexander Hernandez’ Finca La Esmerelda is located in Pitalito, southern Huila, near the heart of the Macizo Colombiano at 1700 meters above sea level. At this point, the three major Colombian mountain ranges meet and it is an area famous for coffee production. This location is near the source of the Magdalena River, which creates a multitude of microclimates throughout the region. In addition to the high quality Pitalito terrain, Alexander has completed the Caravela PECA curriculum and is PECA certified, helping him produce top quality coffee. He manages his farm with his partner Leidy Johana Vargas.
The PECA program at Caravela Coffee arms producers with the skill set and know-how to improve coffee quality every step of the way. Starting with seed selection to seedling, planting, soil treatment, pest and blight control, ripe picking, cherry de-pulping, fermentation and parchment drying. PECA instruction led to Alexander and Leidy implementing shade cover over their patios and raised beds during the drying process. It also instructed them on how to keep fermentation tanks clean for superior washing of their coffee. The PECA program has helped Alexander and Leidy reach their specialty coffee goals which in turn has led to better incomes and profits for Finca La Esmerelda. With this new knowledge, Alexander and Leidy hope to go on to produce fantastic coffee and invest profits into their farm.