Like I said before, after two long and bouncy days en route to the remote town of Huabal, above the dusty frontier town of Jaen; we finally made it to Wilson Santos’s farm. Huabal is a small and colorful community 2 hours into the Andes from Jaen and Wilson’s farm is yet another 30 mins further into the dramatic peaks.
This will be our third year buying coffee directly from the community of Huabal. We’ve zeroed in on this community in particular because of their consistent quality and impressive elevation (1900 meters above sea level). Wilson’s farm is part of the Brillante Perla Andina association which is just one of the 100 of the small, locally managed associations that make up the larger Cenfrocafe Cooperative.
Wilson’s farm is 5 hectares (which is about 2.5 acres) and consists largely yellow caturra and bourbon varietals. Yellow caturra is known around here for its intense sweetness and we’re loving what we’re tasting thus far. Because of its high elevation, which slows and elongates fruit maturation, Wilson’s farm has 5 and even 6 pickings of ripe coffee cherries in a given harvest. When we were up at his farm, coffee plants were even starting to flower while cherries were waiting to be picked.
After a fruitful meeting with Wilson and the president of Brillante (pictured) and Wilson, it looks as though we’ll be able to both source from Huabal but also directly from Wilson next year, which will allow us to work with him on fine tuning his processing and segments some very interesting microlots. We love this kind of partnership because it allows us to really to get to know our farmer partners and share knowledge from the farm to the roastery and back again.