I started in 1997, the area was virgin. I was the first one to start a coffee cultivation there. People said I was crazy, it would be way to cold and there was hardly a way to get there. It took several years before they built a road. We carried the first coffee trees up the hill with mules. The first harvest was very little, it is a cold zone. Until four years ago we sold the coffee is commercial, there was no incentive for quality, until now.
I did not know that caturra did not perform well in cold climate, so we changed it for Catuaí after seven years. It was a commercial farm, but I knew the coffee was good. I saw the results of the cuppings at the exporters but they did not give me any awards. In 2011 I entered the Cup of Excellence, and it was the best-selling coffee in my life as coffee producer. After 2012/2013,Francisco Javier Valle García visited me help me to commercialize my coffee as specialty coffee. Ever since that year we have tried to do better. This year will hopefully be the best!
I'm the first generation in my family. But my four sons all have inherited land for me and are producing coffee now as well. My son Rony just got a little boy, hopefully he will continue my work as well.
What's the secret that made you win the contest?
Of the entire harvest approximately 90% of coffee scores 83 points or more and is sold as specialty coffee. The biggest change, opposed to last years, is the investment in the new wet milling module. First of all, this module is water-efficient and reuses the same water the whole day by pumping it around, greatly reducing the water waste. Furthermore, it comes equipped with several tools that help to separate the best from the good. The first step is the Siphon, a large water tank that takes out the floaters. Afterwards it’s depulped and goes trough a channel. In this channel several gaps are placed to take out the heaviest beans, which are of the best quality. There are 4 gaps, which all lead to different fermentation tanks. After fermenting and washing these lots are kept separate the entire process, until they’re cupped and graded. This allows us to identify and separate outstanding lots.
How do you feel to be one of the winners?
I feel happy, happy, happy! Because I have been able to see that the work we put in over the last 3 years really pays of. I have been a finalist a couple of times, and here we are again! It just feels so good to know that I have great coffee.
In what you're gonna invest the profit of the electronic auction?
We have to invest in two things next years: our people and the environment. We want to take good care of our people, give them better food, better accomodation. Just make sure they’re comfortable at our farm. Also, we want to make the farm more sustainable. The new wetmill was the first step, but next up is treating the wastewater. We want to build sedimentation tanks to clean the water before letting it back into the nature. Lastly, we’d like to power the farm with solar panels the have clean energy as well.
Have you ever participated in the contest before? Did you win?
I have participated four times in my life, the last two years as finalist. But I have never reached the top 10.
What do you think about Cup of excellence?
It is a great quality check, you coffee is being tested by so many people. Winning mean that I truly have great coffee.
|Buena Vista 2017
|Roger Esaú Herrera Ortez
|Size (30kg boxes)
|Red apple, caramel, orange, fruits, cinnamon, spices, citrus, cherries, passion fruit, concord grapes, apricot, cane juice.
|Citric, bright, mandarin, malic, lemon.
|Juicy, transparent, silky mouthfeel, honey, really sweet, balanced, sweet with acidity apricot mouthfeel, viscous.
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)