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Huila, Colombia
Partner since: 2019 Traceable to: 12 smallholders

24-48 hour in-cherry and 36-72 hour dry and/or anaerobic fermentation, light or no washing, 2-phase solar drying

Nov Dec Jan Apr May Jun Feb May Jun Jul Jan Feb Mar Jun Jul Aug

Community Context

The Cercert producer group, led by Yaqueline Hernandez-Alban, was founded in 2017 by smallholders in La Plata and La Argentina seeing better prices than those offered through the FNC and local associations. Several members of the Crecert producer group banded together around advanced farm management (including an interest in new varietals), processing (such as precisely monitored extended fermentation and 2-phase drying) and the environment (blending subsistence crops with sustainable agroforestry). The combination of these practices, with a pinch of pride, brings a crystal clear complexity to their coffees.

Country Context

Colombia and coffee are nearly synonymous. For decades, US specialty has looked to Colombia to source the entire spectrum of coffees, from all-day approachable blenders to unique and experimental competition lots. This range speaks to the diversity to be found within Colombia–diversity in climate, coffee, and culture. Colombia harvests coffee nearly year-round from the northern mountain ranges in the Sierra Nevada to the Rezuardos in the South. Some farmers negotiate directly with roasters on cup scores and track international prices. Others come from remote communities and sell to the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) – a setter of standards and buyer of last resort for communities that have access to no other customer.

It can be most fulfilling to comb through collections and drill down past the bodega level. All that is possible within a single collection can often be scaled up if you just ask, that is if you find the right partners who care to listen. Earning trust, calibrating on coffee, and getting into a good cadence for communication are more important here than in other parts of the world.

In Colombia, quality can be found from estates at the container-load or from smallholders 1-2 bags at a time. The key is finding the right partners who can help you to cut through the noise and get to the best coffees every harvest.