Jose Martinez - COLOMBIACAFE CAPITALE
La Palma Y el Tucan
Fermentation: Lactic experimental
BERRY, INTENSE FRUIT, LINGONBERRY, JAMMY
La Palma & El Tucán:
La Palma & El Tucan is an innovative farm, located two hours outside the capital Bogotá, on the eastern range of the Colombian Andes. This coffee is a nano-lot from their ‘Estate & Varietals’ program, where different exotic varietals have been carefully cultivated at their farm. Through the Lactic process, the coffee cherries are fermented in closed tanks for an extended period of time to achieve a higher concentration of lactic acid bacteria. This anaerobic fermentation creates a very distinctive cup profile, with a velvety body and a winey acidity.
Don Jesus and his sister Nubia, inherited the farm Las Palmas 14 years ago. At the beginning, the 3.8 hectares were used for goat farming and cattle breeding. 7 years ago, Nubia decided to move, live and work at the farm with her husband José Martínez and their 2 children, and that was the time when they started growing coffee. Jose ́s parents were traditional coffee growers from the Tolima department, so he proposed that his wife and brother-in-law to turn the land into a productive coffee growing farm.
Jesus and Nubia accepted the challenge and came to the agreement that Jose would be the person in charge of the farm. So Jesus provided his part of the land for Jose and Nubia to work it and distribute the profits accordingly.
Aside from coffee, the family also receives incomes from goat breeding, plantain and fruit plantations. This shows the reality of the growers in our region: they haven ́t been able to live out of coffee, and are forced to look for new ways to ensure their subsistence. The local buyers to which they sell their parchment coffee aren’t paying enough for them to recover the investment.
For the main harvest of 2014, LA PALMA & EL TUCÁN finally convinced the family to work with them and become part of their Neighbors & Crops program. The main drivers of their decision were having access to their special Cherry Picking team (because they were struggling with the availability of skilled labor in the region) and being able to sell coffee cherries without having to process them with such limited resources and infrastructure at their farms, especially in the drying stage.
As well as most of the families in the region, currently their children are not interested in learning and working with coffee. Not being able to depend on coffee as an only source of income for the family is forcing younger generations to seek for new choices. Fortunately, their 2 children are studying (school and college) and we hope that with LA PALMA & EL TUCÁN, we can give them reasons to go back to farming and continue with their parent ́s coffee knowledge and culture.
With Jesus, Jose, Nubia and the other growers that we worked with this year, we are setting milestones in our aim to recover and revitalize the coffee culture in our region.