Our relationship with Franci began in a typical manner: on the cupping table. During Sebastian’s last trip to Colombia in November of 2016, he cupped several coffees from Palestina and instantly fell in love with Franci’s. Her farm is similar to many Palestina farms, partially shaded, not overly planted and enjoys nice elevation around 1750m. Her processing is also very traditional; she averages around 36 hours of dry fermentation then dries the coffee on raised beds. Sebastian is very excited to visit her in June and spend some time discussing our approach to continuous quality improvements through initiatives and experiments.
A bit of background on Franci’s region: Palestina. Since the advent of Juan Valdez and the Colombian marketing machine in the 1980’s, most of Colombia’s coffee producers have replanted their farms with highly productive and hearty coffee varieties. They grow these varieties in high density, removing nearly all the shade from their farms, and they use agrochemicals more frequently. In contrast, the small region of Palestina, situated in the southern part of the department of Huila, still maintains some of the coffee varieties and shade trees that gave Colombia its original coffee fame.
We began working in this region in 2014 with Jose Martinez, whose farm is in the district of Sinai within Palestina. Since then, Sebastian has been very keen on working more within the region. During one of Sebastian’s visits in 2015, he asked Victor – the cupper in charge of the Palestina warehouse – to set up a few cupping tables to taste Jose’s coffee along with a range of others from the Palestina region. The cuppings showed the raw potential in the region. Since that time, we have worked with a small group of producers from the Jericó district, Alfonso Mateus from El Silencio district and now Franci Barrera from Sinai.
Franci’s coffee was picked in the month of December of 2016, so it’s quite fresh and vibrant. As always, we froze this coffee on arrival to further preserve its freshness.
REGION: Sinai, Palestina
PRODUCERS: Franci Barrera
HARVEST DATE: December, 2016
PROCESSING: Fully Washed by Fermentation
DRYING: Raised beds
SHIPPING: Shipped in a -18C freezing container
STORAGE: Green coffee frozen to preserve freshness