Our story is inspired by our passion for change! We can’t help ourselves. We imagine a better world, with better coffee and better practices. And for as long as “better” exists, we have made this our calling.
2011 Where it
Our story is different from the traditional stories of coffee-growing farms. We did not inherit a farm that was already growing coffees, or implemented the traditional techniques for identifying and commercializing green beans.
Our vision about our country’s coffee-market is one in which growers are being asked to deliver a high-quality coffee that has to meet the highest standards required by the specialty coffee industry; the reality is that most of them don’t have the right equipment, knowledge, infrastructure or resources to deliver such quality.
In 2011 we decided to start our life´s project: a coffee farm that would challenge the status quo of the coffee industry. We looked at over 100 farms throughout the first year, searching only for the perfect “ecotopo” that could meet the strict search criteria that we had.
In November we finally found a magical place and purchased an 18-hectares land that was used for cattle farming during the last 10 years. It was everything we dreamed of: mountain, forest, river and neighboring coffee growers.
The setup of the farm started right away: we designed and built a state-of-the-art wet mill where we would be able to experiment with different processing methods, and an avant-garde coffee lab where we would be performing all the sensory and physical analisis, roasting and cupping every coffee produced at the farm.
Simultaneously, the soil began its preparation for seeding of our exotic varietals; these plants had to get used to an entirely new microclimate with a constant temperature change during the day.
We needed to innovate, to challenge the current system. If we wanted different results, we had to try different approaches.
We convened a meeting with the neighboring coffee growers to explain our vision of a collaborative, purposeful and inclusive work that would add and share value for all of us at origin.
We will always insist on quality, and we will never forsake community. If one is without the other, then nothing is gained.
As the first seeds were being sown on our farm, we reached out to over 100 coffee-growing families in our area. Once we better understood the challenges they were facing, we could see a clear opportunity for all.
By mid-year, our Neighbors & Crops relationship coffee model was launched. We convened a meeting with the neighboring coffee growers to explain our vision of a collaborative, purposeful and inclusive work that would add and share value for all us at origin.
2014 Our first
By working with our neighbors on better farm practices, using our team of specially-trained pickers, and by processing their coffee at our state-of-the-art wet mill, we elevated their coffee to a quality level and market before unreachable.
By way of our proprietary processing methods, the result was a limited collection of microlots as unique and special as the people who cultivated them, the people who roasted them, and the people who enjoyed them.
2015 Our first
Part of working with any produce is learning to adapt…and quickly! during the first 3 years, we listened to our crops and understood what worked best for them.
The coffees that resulted reflected all dimensions of efforts made by our team to maintain, select and process the best coffee cherries.
Our coffee tells our story. A story of commitment to constant innovation. We wanted to spread the word; to call out on all of who are discerning, dedicated and different as we are. Those in an insatiable search for quality and environmental sustainability, and especially those who value the coffee grower’s well-being.
We harvested relationships that supported our purpose and helped in giving a clear and loud voice to our project. We worked side by side with our partners: Roasters and Baristas around the world who shared our view of the industry and decided to include our coffees in their stores.
By the end of 2016, thanks to an overwhelming support from clients around the world, we had set a new record for the highest price ever paid in Colombia for green coffee, won more than 15 regional and national championships and had our first shot at the WBC. But most importantly, we had proven that producing fine colombian coffees using a purpose-driven model that shares value with the neighbouring community was possible.
2017 Sharing our
project with the world
We established an experiential hotel at the farm and opened our doors to all coffee and nature lovers in search of experiences around specialty coffee in Colombia. We saw this as a unique opportunity to share our purpose and expose all the hard work and tremendous amount of effort that lies behind every cup of coffee served.
We accepted the challenge of educating coffee lovers on how to identify and enjoy specialty coffee encouraging them to demand better coffees and better practices in the industry.
2018 Becoming an agroecological
In 2018, we decided to challenge our own model; rethink our land and the way we were producing coffees. This led us to listen carefully to experienced Agroecological coffee growers, turn our coffee monoculture into a sustainable polyculture with over 24 plant species per hectare, and reduce our dependence on external inputs. In October, thousands of producing SIDRA, GEISHA, SL-28 and TYPICA coffee trees were cut down to give room to biodiversity, and once again, we were called crazy.
We designed and begun construction of a state-of-the-art centralized composting facility; one that could turn waste and farm residues into quality organic compost for ourselves and our neighbouring coffee farms.
We decided to replicate our relationship coffee model in other origins and achieve a broader social and environmental impact that can help push the limits in the specialty coffee industry. Follow @delaguacoffee and @creativacoffeedistrict for more info.
In the meanwhile, LA PALMA & EL TUCAN continues to invest time and resources in producing consistent and unique micro, nano and pico lots for all our friends and clients around the world.