We are proud of our Vampiro; this is a prime example of pure, organic coffee. One of the only 100% certified farms in Antioquia. The farm is an amazing source for wildlife. Animals ranging from; exotic butterflies, amazing big gecko’s, small wolf-like animals and even black mountain cats, visit the farm at night (captured on motion sensor cameras). The farm is located on pristine slopes of the Andes with a nature corridor that connects the farm to the Cauca River. Finca owner Luis Emilio Vélez allows the wild “Vampiro” bats on his finca to live inside his coffee storage. In the same space as the well protected coffee bags. He always stores all his coffee on the farm in GrainPro.
Finca Cocondo is situated in the municipality of Titiribí, a tiny town high on the rim of a mountain with views of two valleys and the wild Cauca river, the second river of Colombia. For many years it wasn’t safe to cross the river. The other side was guerrilla territory. But now there’s no such problem anymore. The plantation has been developed without harming any of the original vegetation. A walk through the coffee fields, feels more like a pleasant (though steep) forest stroll. Luis Emilio even created an eco-trail, complete with signs, that winds through various lots with different varieties, a spring and even a small fall that he sometimes uses as a shower.
You could almost say Luis Emilio is a freak, but in the positive sense. He does not allow any compromise to produce his characteristic purely organic coffee. He recycles everything and promotes his attitude everywhere he goes. For instance he collects all the plastic wrappers of friends and family, has them stuffed in plastic soda bottles and uses these as bricks to construct buildings on his farm. Finca Cocondo has been producing high quality coffee consistently for several years now, but Luis Emilio keeps experimenting with different varieties and processing methods.
The Coffee Quest has been working closely with Luis Emilio over the last years. Clients that visit our office in Medellín are often taken to finca Cocondo due to it’s proximity and the amazing feel. Unlike other coffee farms, you sense the respect for nature, you see and hear the flora and fauna that live in cohesion with the coffee trees. the innovative mindset they used for succesful switching from conventional production to organic in 1998, they are now applying to the post-harvest processing. As one of the few Colombian farms are able to provide “niche” quality lots of processes such as Honeys and Naturals. A good example of the mindset is the the use of ventilators and deshydratation machines. Something you don’t see every day.
To receive 100% ripe cherries from the pickers on their farm they are very strict, and pay well about regular prices (almost double towards 1,4 mil pesos), ánd provide the option the buy all of the unripes every Friday for a good price. The wet milling starts in an extremely clean wet milling station. The overseer and “student of coffee” Norbey tells us they use a mouth cap and apron during processing and have a strict cleaning regiment that takes place right after processing. After pulping the coffee is laid down to soak in a greenhouse with ventilators extracting humidity. Temperature are kept to 40 degrees celcius. After bringing down the largest humidity the coffee is brought to a new greenhouse with a drawer system. An intelligent and simple system to make sure all coffees are dried equally. Between the Washed, Honey and Naturals they maintain different fermentation times, and the selection of the process depends on the humidity in the air. They suffer from extreme morning dews, where the humidity from the river is pushed up by the daylight and covers the entire farm. An difficulty they have managed and even used in their advantage. The new addition to the process is the deshydratating machine to make sure the coffee end up at a perfect 9,5% humidity. The beans always soak up a bit more humidity before they get stored in the Greenhouse.
Curiosity: Norbey uses big stones in the greenhouse that warm up during the day and keep the greenhouse on higher temperatures during several hours after the sun goes down.