Region: Ciudad Bolivar, Antioquia
5° 32' 22.501" N 75° 51' 15.0646" W
Farm: La Luisa
Farmer/Grower: Juan Pablo y Familia Velez
Altitude: 1800 m.a.s.l.
Density: 1.15 g/ml
Harvest Date: March, 2022
Arrival Date: September, 2022
SCA Cupping Score: 87.88
This is an excellent representation of a gesha coffee from Colombia. The floral profile is soft and delicate without bitterness. We find that this is best preserved with light roasts.
Roasting the coffee itself is fairly straightforward with a very average humidity and density and bean sizes that are fairly typical for Excelso grades in Colombia. Approach this lot like many other washed coffees and err on the side of caution with heat application.
Finca La Luisa is located in the small town of Bolívar in the Southwest corner of Antioquia. The farm is nested against the picturesque mountain range of the Farallones del Citará. From the farm, a dozen waterfalls can be seen like shimmering veins down the cliff sides.
As the trend for gesha coffee started taking off, Juan Pablo had immense difficulty finding seeds to plant his own. After giving up looking for them, a friend called him one day to explain that her father had coffee seedlings at home that he was looking to give away. Being an architect, her father was not in the business of growing coffee and received them as a gift for his garden. Juan Pablo agreed to pick up the seedlings in his pickup truck to clear the space for his friend and her father. As they were loading the truck, Don Juan asked the father what variety the plants were, to which he replied calmly that they were gesha plants. Skeptical, Juan planted the seedlings at the farm in an open area he had not developed yet. As the plants began to grow, he noticed peculiar attributes; the plants were tall with thin branches that grew up at a different angle than typical varieties. He knew they were obviously different, but remained skeptical that they could be gesha plants until after waiting 3 years for the seedlings to produce he was able to verify that they were in fact gesha plants with extremely unique cup characteristics! Those 300 seedlings have now become 10,000 plants on the farm.
“Everything starts with a dream, with a seed. In my story the dream is literally a seed. This story begins many, many years ago. Being the fourth generation of coffee producers, I could say that I am not starting from scratch in the sense of the word, but from the point of view of what is happening now with specialty coffees, I am starting from scratch. And I say this because in this business there is nothing written yet. One way or another we are transforming the business. The old problems always exist, they are nothing new. The weather is still a headache. Before it was too. Let's say it's worse now but we have to deal with it. The fluctuation of prices remains the same, productivity, pests... What is new for me, and for many specialty coffee producers, is the tireless search for excellence, for consistency, for finding suitable adaptability for new seeds without giving up. Waiting 3 years to find out if the project for a new plantation meets expectations, not only of mine but also of my clients, of consumers and coffee lovers from many parts of the world. Yes, of the world. These seeds I grow travel thousands of miles and are enjoyed or hated by people far and wide. Processing coffee is not easy either, we play at being alchemists. To look for that unique and perfect flavor that sometimes does not exist. That is in our mind, in our ideal. After perfecting some processes, we find enormous satisfaction knowing that we are doing our job very well when, due to the ease of communication via social networks, a complete stranger writes to us to congratulate us on our work as coffee producers and designers. It is a huge team that is behind all this. I am simply the visible face of a multitude of hands through which these emerald green grains pass.”
-Juan Pablo, when asked to share about his history as a coffee grower and processor.