Sirley Pulgarin in Giraldo

Exótico de Giraldo – Supporting the community in Antioquia

People

Exótico de Giraldo is our group lot from Antioquia. It really lives up to its name because of the rarity of its sensory attributes and the agroclimatic conditions where this coffee is produced. The Coffee Quest Colombia has been supporting the community of Giraldo for several years, thanks to our local presence in the regional station and the current different outreach programs (women empowerment, children’s education, water treatment). 

At Giraldo station, like in all our regional stations, The Coffe Quest Team is constantly busy welcoming farmers, providing tailored feedback on quality, and organising group training for the local farming community. The work in the regional station is hard but the team (mainly Sirley Pulgarin and Lilibeth Quintero), even if small, is able to do it all alone. During harvest, other cuppers like Kelly, travel across regions to provide additional help. 

“In the search for the best coffees in Colombia, Ronald and Stephen managed to identify the municipality of Giraldo as one of the best places in Antioquia to produce quality coffee. They identified the need of producers to sell their coffees at better prices and therefore improve their quality of life”. – Yessica Parra, leader of TCQ Team in the South of Colombia

Sirley is a third-generation coffee farmer and her life revolves around coffee. Her grandparents not only passed down knowledge and passion for coffee but also a piece of land. Years later, her parents decided to buy a farm in La Sierrita, where she grew up and shared time between school and supporting activities on the farm. She is now married and also owns Finca el Cuajerón with her husband, where they grow varietal Caturro and Castillo. She is also part of our program “Mujeres de Giraldo“. 

Sirley is a curious producer and heard about specialty coffees with The Coffee Quest at a company workshop in her community in 2019. That day, the The Coffee Quest Colombia invited producers to come to the lab to learn more. She was the only one that showed up and kept visiting the lab ones a week to learn how to cup. The following harvest in 2020, her interest and dedication led the TCQ team to offer her a position as a quality assistant and by 2021 she made all quality analysis and the management of the buying station in Giraldo. Thanks to this, she has earned the respect of her community and is considered a leader.

Lilibeth is also part of Giraldo’s Team. She’s recently graduated in high school and decided to learn more about coffee and make it a way of life. Likewise, the team is supported by Kelly Pastes, a quality analyst of the company who moves between buying stations according to the country’s harvests. 

Sirley, Lilibeth, and Kelly are essential players of The Coffee Quest Colombia as they are the first touch point for farmers. In a small town such as Giraldo, regional stations often serve as hub spots to share insights and build a sense of community among producers. 

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Our local presence allows us to give regular feedback to our farmers and provides the basis for consistency in this coffee. Due to the high average altitudes, 2000 m.a.s.l. and above, we find this is a people-pleasing espresso while having sufficient acidity to be an excellent filter coffee as well.

Exotico de Giraldo – Type 2 (84 score): This quality is the most common quality accepted in the Giraldo regional station. The lot provides a less complex (compared to our 84+ lots), but beautiful clean cup with milk chocolate, a good touch of sweetness and a creamy afterflavour. This profile is found across Antioquia, but the station is able to provide additional value in consistency. Each individual lot that ends up in the group lot “Exótico de Giraldo” has been cup multiple times and added based on the determined cup profile.

Exótico de Giraldo is a group lot produced in the western region of Antioquia. The farms contributing to it are located at an altitude between 1900 and 2300 m.a.s.l., growing the following varieties: Caturro, Colombia, Colombia F7, Castillo and Pajarito. These varieties have the most favourable conditions for their growth; acid soils, low relative humidity, cold nights due to the high altitude, but warm air flows that come from the canyon around. Here flows the Cauca River, a water source that crosses the entire country.

Price

The Coffee Quest pays above market price, but it also creates programs to develop skills for self-improvement within the community. Even if this coffee might not hit “single-farm micro-lot” quality, nonetheless, it deserves fair payments. 

As The Coffee Quest is able to buy large quantities of all ranges of qualities our farmers produce while paying fair prices, we can confidently ask producers to make adjustments in their processing. By doing this, we can reduce their concern over price volatility. For this reason, we offer feedback on every single lot cupped (whether purchased or not).

Planet

The Coffee Quest identified some of the struggles of the community in Giraldo and started working with the locals to implement programs and improve their living conditions in several ways. One of them is the installation of two new water treatment systems which will improve the health of all residents living in the area of La Sierrita and La Sierra. 

Although the community is surrounded by abundant water, none of it is treated. In previous years there have been cases of members of the community sickened by untreated water, primarily affecting children. Therefore, Marco Marín, our project manager in Colombia, decided to put the plan into action. The project has been partially funded, but there’s still a lot to do. Marco is working hard to find supporters across Colombia and Europe.

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