The coffee cherries are fermented for 10 hours at a controlled temperature. After de-pulping, the coffee is left for 48 hours in a silo, before being moved into a solar drying environment for between 24 to 48 hours. Then it’s back to the silo until the beans have a moisture content of 11%, which takes approximately 120 hours of drying.
The result is a rich, intense and complex coffee that has become the most in-demand flavour profile at Café Granja.
Carmen Rosa Vega and Israel Correa founded the Potosi farm in 1930 when they arrived in the Valle del Cauca as part of a cultural, economic and social movement that was seeking to develop land in central Colombia.
In 1945, three new varietals – Yellow Bourbon, Red Bourbon and Caturra – were added to Potosi’s existing Typica crop by Juan Antonio, husband of Blanca who was one of the founders’ daughters.
Apart from farming coffee, Blanca and Antonio also raised a large family of eleven children. Two of them, Rigoberto and Luis, developed a special interest in coffee production and processing and, as a result, decided to take the farm in a new direction by converting to organic crop growing in the late 1990s.
Besides Potosi, another four farms – including La Esperanza – were gradually acquired in order to enlarge their organic farming project.
In 2007, Rigoberto took the opportunity to lease and manage a coffee farm in Panama. A year later, he won his first prize, bagging the Best of Panama award from the Speciality Coffee Association of Panama. When he returned to Colombia, Rigoberto brought back Geisha seeds from Panama and so began a new era in the history of Granja La Esperanza.
However, some years later, fire swept through the Potosi plantations, leaving only ashes behind. Café Granja saw the setback as a chance to redesign and re-organise their entire production infrastructure and nowadays Potosi farm boasts 106 570 trees planted over 19.24 hectares at an altitude of 1600 – 2000 metres.
Potosi farm is Rainforest Alliance-certified and is 100% free of chemicals. This means cultivation, fertilisation, weed control and phytosanitary management are carried out in a way that prioritises environmental and human health.
Café Granja takes social and environmental responsibility extremely seriously and Horizonte has been suitably impressed by its programmes and installations.
Training courses for employees, the provision of food and rest areas for field workers, weekly breaks for personal development, daily family activities, and long-standing support for education and gender equality are all features of life at Café Granja.
More than 20% of the total area of the Granja farms is given over to forest and animal reserves which safeguard fauna and flora biodiversity and help to maintain a balanced ecosystem. Hunting is obviously prohibited.
Thanks to modern equipment and techniques – for instance, opting for natural fermentation followed by washing in eco-friendly wash facilities – Granja has managed to cut their water consumption for the production of washed coffee by 80%.
Emissions have also been reduced by replacing diesel engines (which are used for drying coffee during certain rainy periods) with electric and gas-powered machinery.