Finca La Loma is located in Vereda Agua Negra in the Pitalito municipality of Huila. The farm has 12 hectares planted with many varieties, including Caturra, Variedad Colombia, Pink Bourbon, Pacamara, Laurina, and Gesha. The mill on the farm includes a depulper and tanks for dry fermentation. Producers Rodrigo Sanchez Valencia and Claudia Samboni have been cultivating coffee on La Loma since 2011.
In 2017, Rodrigo and his team at Aromas del Sur—the parent company for La Loma, El Progreso, and Monteblanco farms and the Aromas del Sur dry mill—constructed a cupping lab on La Loma to facilitate sample roasting, crop evaluation, and sourcing at origin. The lab overlooks the farm and the valley of Pitalito, with coffee trees and other crops dotting the rolling landscape.
Rodrigo and his team introduced Gesha to Finca El Progreso in 2013 and to La Loma and Monteblanco shortly after. Planting new varieties is part of a development project together with other producers in the region to improve the genetic diversity and resilience of the coffee fields. Gesha is naturally roya leaf rust resistant and its trees have a tall, elegant form, with lots of space between the branches. This makes for slightly lower yields but easier harvest selection of the ripest cherries.
All cherries harvested are measured for degrees Brix. Based on sugar content indicated, the team then designates which processing method is appropriate. Coffees with 24-27 degrees Brix are processed as washed coffees, beginning with depulping cherries they day they are harvested. Coffee is fermented between 28 and 32 hours, fully washed with clean water, transferred to the solar dryer for several days, and finally moved to shaded raised beds to complete the drying process. Floaters are removed at the first stage prior to depulping to produce clean, consistent coffees that represent the terroir of the farm. Coffee from La Loma is dry milled at the Aromas del Sur facility in Pitalito.
Read more about coffee at Monteblanco and new processing innovations.