The producer of this coffee, Nohora Sepulveda de Zambrano, is 73 years-old and has been around coffee her whole life. Today, she oversees production at her five-hectare finca La Floresta, which is in the vereda of La Laguna, about 45 minutes from the municipal town center. While Doña Nohora has a permanent right-hand man in her farm manager Alexander, her two sons Edwin and Rafael, are also coffee growers. They both learned everything they know about coffee from her and their late father Rafael Sr.
Edwin and Rafael work alongside their mother two to three days a week, even though Rafael Jr. lives in town. The late Rafael Sr. had also been a coffee producer, and when he passed away a few years ago, the brothers stepped up and took over his part of the farm, which is located right next to La Floresta. This has been divided into two farms, Buenavista and Villa Sofía, now owned by Edwin and his wife Nancy Maria, respectively. Buenavista spans four hectares and, just like La Floresta, is planted with the Castillo, Caturra, and Colombia varieties. Besides coffee, the family Sepulveda Zambrano family also grow plantains and yucca. Nancy Maria and Edwin live in at Buenavista, where their house sits directly below Nohora’s home, just a short walk down a steep slope. During the main harvest, which usually occurs in June and July in this part of Huila, Nohora and Edwin employ up to 25 local pickers to carry out the cherry collection at all three farms. At this very moment, they are entering their mitaca, or fly crop, and Edwin is pleased to report it’s looking like the yield will be bountiful this year.
For this natural process coffee—an eco-friendly that La Floresta is gaining recognition for, the cherries were hand-selected and put in bags to ferment intact for 120 hours. Nohora and Edwin then wash the coffee and put it out to dry on raised beds inside a parabolic dryer for 15 days.
The municipality of Algeciras, located in central Huila, right in heart of the Magdalena River valley, on the easternmost border with the department of Caquetá, is home to around 25,000 people. Most of the population work in agriculture, producing either cacao, sugar cane or coffee.