Farm: Las Mercedes
Altitude: 1800 – 2100 meters above sea level
Owner: Alfonso Eduardo Guerra & Olga Escobar
Town / City: Ciudad Bolívar
Overall: Ripe Berries, coffee pulp, tropical fruits, caramel finish
Finca La Loma, Long fermentation - Colombia
Located in the mountainous terrain and temperate climates of southwest Antioquia, Finca La Loma, translating to “the Green Hills”, has the perfect climate for producing excellent quality coffee. In this ideally situated terrain, the Guerra family has dedicated 20 of their 22.2 hectares to coffee, with the rest of the farm being utilised for livestock. Having owned the neighbouring farm of Finca Las Mercedes since the 1960s, Alfonso Guerra purchased Finca La Loma in 2005 with aim of further expanding their business. Today, the Guerra family farms are now primarily managed by Alfonso’s son, Juan Carlos, and his grandchildren. This means that five generations of the Guerra family have tended the lands of Cuidad Bolivar. With years of experience passed down through generations, the Guerra family’s mission is to produce consistent, high quality coffee, whilst taking responsibility for the environment they work within. Under Juan Carlos’ influence, the farm has increasingly focused on quality improvements and speciality coffee production. Finca La Loma’s 140,000 Caturra, Colombia and Castillo trees are painstakingly maintained, aiming to marry productivity with environmental stewardship. Plots are fertilised twice a year and all control of pests and illnesses are done using products that are certified as being friendly to wildlife.
One strategy in the farm’s efforts to move towards speciality coffee has been to invest in experimental processing techniques and lot differentiation. These efforts increase every year, and with the ideal conditions of the farm, we expect the quality of La Loma’s coffees to only improve in the coming years. The region of Antioquia is fortunate to receive two harvests each year. The primary harvest in the region is between November and February, where 60% of the annual production is collected, with the remaining 40% harvested in the Mitica crop between April and June. This La Loma lot has been selectively hand harvested, before being delivered to the Green Hill’s state-of-the-art mill, where it is sorted for quality firstly by machine and then by hand. The approved coffee fruit is next placed in tanks for a long period of extended fermentation. Here, cherries are fermented for 204 hours, before being eco-pulped. Making sure to leave the mucilage intact, the coffee is next sun dried on both raised beds and patios, where it is regularly turned until it reaches optimal humidity. Once dry, the coffee is milled to remove
any remaining mucilage.
Plans to improve La Loma’s coffee cup quality are always in progress. Next, Juan Carlos is planning to experiment by adding new varieties including SL28, Mocha, Geisha and Wush Wush. We are excited to sample these in the years to come.