Since the 1950s, Specialty Colombian Coffee has been regarded as among the highest quality coffee in the world. The country’s unique geography has allowed us to traditionally grow Arabica beans and the terrain is well-suited to produce a delicious, high-quality brew. But what’s it like to visit a real-life, Colombian coffee farm?
Cafelumbus has 5 spectacular coffee farms each of which is known for various reasons. In light of our 100th year anniversary, we want to showcase each of these farms and what makes them special. This week we’d like to start with the first coffee farm we acquired over 100 years ago, La Gabriela.
If you’ve never had the chance to visit a specialty coffee farm, la Gabriela would be a great place to begin. Its spectacular views and 26 acres piled with flowers and trees have made this farm (or Finca as they are known here) a fan favorite.
Built over 100 years ago, La Gabriela is the birthplace of a coffee maker’s dream. Its current tenants have been part of La Gabriela’s history for years and it is named after our CEO’s grandmother.
Generations of children have since grown and moved away from La Gabriela, many leaving to start their own families. Some far from the finca and others are running their own fincas in surrounding areas.
Speaking with the powerful people that have been in charge of La Gabriela, one can’t help but to think of the things we take for granted. Coffee is what the corporate world runs on, it is our boost of energy in the morning and what helps many get through the day. But have we really ever sat down and thought about how much it takes to produce a cup of deliciously brewed specialty coffee?
Specialty Coffee found in La Gabriela
La Gabriela’s estate lies between 1300 and 1600 masl and harvests varieties of specialty coffee such as Caturra, Castillo, and Colombia.
The coffee world has long since evolved since Colombia was placed on the map for coffee exports in the 1950s. With new players such as Vietnam emerging producing great specialty coffee as well, times are changing. What will never change, however, is the rich history behind harvesting and picking at La Gabriela.
Garden of Eden
At La Gabriela, we have an area we isolated that we call our “garden of Eden”. We named it this after our neighbors and guests praised our coffee. It is here in this garden that we planted micro-lots with a few varieties such as Java, Pacamara, Red Bourbon, Gesha, and Typica.
In addition to its lush greenery and cultivated fields, La Gabriela is also home to various species of birds and butterflies that visit in large part due to a natural reserve located right next to the farm. In fact, of the 26 acres, 5 are used in the preservation of water sources and forests.
Present day La Gabriela
Despite recent market changes due to the pandemic, at this point of the year, we’re finishing up fly crop season in the region. La Gabriela as well as the 4 other Café Lumbus farms have obtained outstanding production and high-quality fruits even with it not being the main crop season.
Flycrop, also known as mitaca, represents approximately 33% of the annual harvest. This means that in the next 4 months we will be working tirelessly to prepare for our main harvest. The world of Specialty coffee is all about processes and practices that improve the already complex world of coffee. It is a legacy left to us by previous generations that left us with the right tools to bring exceptional green coffee to the world.
Another important factor in producing specialty coffee at coffee farms is sustainability. However, sustainability goes above and beyond what we do for nature. It is a compendium of practices to improve how we do our jobs, how we treat employees as well as everyone on every step of the supply chain.
The processes of training and technification are extremely important which is why entities that look out for working conditions in the farming industry monitor the correct use of all types of protective equipment. Contrary to popular belief, picking coffee out the field can come with many health risks which is why it is mandatory that workers correctly use personal protective equipment.
Future Plans for La Gabriela
If one thing is certain it’s that the world of specialty Colombian coffee is yet to be fully unveiled. There is much to discover and we plan to work side by side with our staff to continue to bring the world the highest quality green coffee. The road is long and arduous but there is nothing more gratifying than to see the world wake up with a cup of Specialty Colombian Coffee.