Farm info

El Zacatin, named after a local craft liquor manufacturer founded in the town of Concordia in the early 1920s, is a family-owned 17 hectare farm situated in the highlands of southwest Antioquia department. The farm rests high on the western slopes of the Cordillera mountains, overlooking the Cauca river valley.

Eduardo Fernandez-Restrepo is a third generation producer who became a pioneer of specialty coffee production in Concordia about 5 years ago. Fernandez-Restrepo’s family owns 3 farms in the area—Zacatin, Illusion and La Costain—all planted with coffee and a few hectares of cacao. Eduardo’s charismatic personality and interest in non-traditional coffee tree varieties connected him with like minded producers, leading to the exchange of knowledge and seeds.

Eduardo has worked carefully to source seeds for the collection of coffee varieties that he now grows. He acquired Tabi seeds through an agronomist in Antioquia with connections to Cenicafé, Colombia’s coffee research institution that developed this cultivar. His Pink Bourbon coffee came originally from a friend and fellow producer, Rodrigo Sanchez Valencia, who had rediscovered the variety on one of his farms in Huila. The Gesha on Eduardo’s farm was gifted from the Santa Maria farm in Buesaco, Nariño. And it was through foreign coffee merchants that he added SL-28 to El Zacatin. Originally growing these varieties on only 2 hectares of the farm, Eduardo’s production has now blossomed into growing 3500 kg of Gesha, 2000 kg of Pink Bourbon, 840 kg of SL-28, and 3000 kg of Tabi.

Eduardo adheres to three pillars in his approach to processing: efficiency, consistency, and excellence. This particular lot of Natural Tabi from El Zacatin was selectively handpicked, sorted by hand to remove unripe cherries, and then floated for additional quality sorting during which floaters were all removed. The coffee is then placed into a tank for 48 hours of aerobic fermentation, followed immediately by sealing the tanks for 24 hours of anaerobic fermentation. After this in-tank fermentation, the cherries are then spread out onto raised beds for 30 days where they will dry until reaching a moisture content of 11%. During the rainy season this drying process may also involve around 8 hours of mechanical drying to ensure the coffee remains stable when packed into GrainPro.



Antioquia is perhaps Colombia’s most traditional coffee producing department, with small
plots, mid-size properties, and large estates stretching up and down the steep mountains of the Western Range of the Andes that runs through the department. Coffee production stretches wide through the department, beginning as soon as Medellín’s suburbs end and continuing all the way to Antioquia’s southern border with Risaralda and Caldas.

Coffee growers in Antioquia are proud cafeteros, where smallholders still use some traditional means like transporting coffee via mule. Many farms plant varieties developed by the Colombian Coffee Growers’ Federation (FNC), choosing varieties intended for the specific conditions of each of the country’s growing regions and adhering to standards like recommended planting densities.

But, recently, Antioquia’s farmers have been branching out to implement new systems and
techniques. Almost all of Colombia’s farms include a small wet mill and a drying surface, often a rooftop surface with a removable cover, for processing coffee. Antioquia’s farms are often described as “technified,” applying the latest agronomic innovations. Today, farmers diversify this technification beyond prescribed best practices suited for the whole department, instead developing their own technical improvements to make the most of their property’s attributes and produce the finest coffee possible.