When he was a young student, Javier Golondrino helped his father pick coffee. He spent his earnings on transportation to and from school every day. When Javier turned 15, his dad gifted him a small parcel of land with 1,000 trees on it. In the years since, Javier has managed to grow this land into a reasonably sized farm of two hectares with 10,000 trees on it. The farm, La Loma, sits 1,983 metres above sea level in the steep mountains surrounding La Plata, in Colombia’s Huila region.
Four years ago, around 20 members of the large cooperative to which Javier belonged realised that their location, expertise and passion for coffee gave them a unique edge in high-quality coffee production. This small group of farmers broke off from the co-op to establish their own organisation, named Aprocoagrosh. The group has since sought the advice and expertise of specialty coffee organisation ASORCAFE, which has taught Javier how to exercise more control over his processing, and enabled him to improve the quality of his output.
At harvest time, coffee at La Loma is picked when fully ripe. Due to the small size of the farm, two days of pickings are often combined into one lot. The coffee is fermented and then laid out to dry on parabolic beds. The result is a distinctive, complex and deliciously fruit-forward coffee.