Located at an altitude of 1,740 metres, the Ramirez family’s Buenos Aires finca looks like it has been taken straight out of a painting in a thousand shades of green. On a sunny day, you can see the snow-covered peaks of the Nevado del Ruiz from Don Luis’ small organic vegetable garden. The plantations themselves are quite steep,andbordered by banana trees. You will sometimes see small green toucans that have come to visit.
Luis Eduardo and his son Barner pulled up most of the Yellow Colombia to replant with Orange Castillo bushes. Barner, who has inherited his father’s strength of character, has successfully proved to him that combining processes, experience and testing is a great way of producing high-quality specialty coffee at their small Salento farm.
The Castillo cherries are selected carefully by hand at just the right maturity by their team of pickers, led by ever-cheerful Luis. After de-pulping, the beans ferment for 12 hours and are then washed and dried on African beds for 8 days. Drying is finalised in a mechanical dryer for 12 hours.
Orange Castillo microlot | Experience and experimentation
Luis Eduardo and his son Barner Ramirez are the proud owners of the Buenos Aires finca located in the department of Quindio.
“We are 100% committed to everything that we do,” says Barner, cracking a proud, slightly shy smile and looking at his father Luis, “which is why we dedicate ourselves exclusively to coffee.” Luis is a strong-willed man coming up for his 70th birthday who is ready to admit that he finds it hard allowing his son to innovate and make changes to the methods he has been using all his life to prepare the coffees at his farm.
And Luis has his reasons for being cautious, after all, he has been growing coffee for many years and remembers the time when he earned no more than 5 pesos a day. The situation then worsened when the coffee pact was broken in 1989. He found himself having to sell his land to avoid bankruptcy.
In the years that followed, he and his family worked hard for other companies until their financial situation improved and they could reinvest in coffee production.
His son, Barner, knew the risks before embarking on this project, which he has thrown himself into body and soul. They have pulled up most of their Yellow Colombia and replanted with Orange Castillo bushes. Barner, who has inherited his father’s strength of character, has now successfully proved to him that combining processes, experience and testing is a great way of producing high-quality specialty coffee at their small Salento farm.