Farm info

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 Geisha. 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 company built to unify all the farms he owns and manages: La Loma, El Progreso, and Monteblanco—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.  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.

Read more about coffee at Monteblanco and new processing innovations.

Region

Huila

The Colombian Department of Huila is located in the southern portion of the country where the Central and Eastern ranges of the Andes mountains converge. Huila’s capitol city of Neiva is dry, flat, and desert-like, markedly different from the coffee regions further south.

Centered around the city of Pitalito, Huila’s coffee farms are predominately smallholder owned and over the past ten years have made consorted efforts to produce specialty coffee that reveals the full character of the region’s terroir. Selective manual harvesting, attentive processing, and careful post-harvest sorting all contribute to increasing recognition of the region.

Huila’s Departmental coffee committee, the local connection to the national Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, has invested notable resources into training producers in everything from fertilization to roasting. This, combined with producer enthusiasm, has created a regional culture of quality-focused production.

Huila holds important historic significance dating back to pre-Columbian cultures. The archeological site at San Augustin includes a large number of stone carvings, figures, and artifacts that offer a rare glimpse into the land’s past prior to colonialism.