Finca El Jardín, in Tolima, Colombia

Finca El Jardin is located in Tolima, Colombia, in the town of Planadas, and is managed by Jorge Elías Rojas. The farm is located at an altitude of approximately 1,857 meters and consists of approximately 3 hectares of coffee. Of these 3 hectares, approximately 4,000 are Caturra, 7,000 are Yellow Colombia, 1,000 are Pink Bourbon, 800 are Wush Wush and 1,000 are Geisha. Jorge has some interesting ideas and since 2016, when he was introduced to specialty coffee, he is always trying to find new ways to improve the quality of his coffee. 

He has developed his own fermentation and drying process, which starts with a very strict selection of coffee cherries during the harvest. Upon arriving to the wet-mill, the cherries are selected by hand to make sure remove immature and other low-quality beans. Afterwards, the coffee is placed in sealed tanks for 72 hours, then de-pulped and fermented again for another 38 hours in the same tanks. After this fermentation process, the coffee is washed or left to dry with the mucilage (honey).

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The first phase of drying takes place in a mechanical dryer for 28 hours at a constant temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. The coffee is then placed in fique bags for 24 hours in a dark place at an average ambient temperature of 20 to 24 degrees, and then dried again in a greenhouse for 48 hours at a temperature of around 30 to 34 degrees. The coffee is left to rest for another 24 hours in fique sacks and then dried in a mechanical dryer for 48 hours at 38 degrees. The coffee is then cooled, stabilized, and packed in bags.

Jorge is a 4th generation coffee grower. His story in coffee began when he was 13 years old, when his mother gave him the opportunity to be involved in the farm, giving him the chance to learn everything that was needed to run a coffee farm. When he grew up, he inherited part of his father’s farm, but also bought part of a neighbor’s land to create what is now Finca el Jardin.

His family is also involved in production, his brother and sister are always in the fields, they all work together to innovate and produce good quality coffee. He has created his own brand, La Roca State; he roasts and is currently building out a wet mill to buy and process coffee cherries from his neighbors. His dream is to become a recognized producer in his region, and hopes that his son, currently 10 years old, will become the next generation of coffee producers to carry on the legacy.

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