Elkin Dario Diosa Montoya runs Finca La Yalena based in Caicedo, Antioquia. The farm sits at an altitude of 2100 m above sea level and here he lives with his family and his sister, who helps him with the farm’s accounting.
Finca La Yalena has a long history. Elkin’s journey with coffee began with his grandfather, working closely with him day by day and saving his money to buy more land in the future. Piece after piece, his farmland grew but the violent guerrillas in the country forced him to move to Medellín to work and wait for better moments. He has been able to go back to what he really wanted to do: being a caficultor.
Elkin’s workforce lies in his 15 fixed employees, who are paid better and higher than the other farms, according to him. He likes to motivate them, work with them in the coffee fields but also focus on improving the farm’s infrastructure when the harvest is off. They also grow other plantations: oranges, lemons, plátano, yucca just for their own consumption.
The team at Finca La Yalena grows three different coffee varieties (Caturra, Castillo, Colombia) to produce their washed and natural micro-lots. According to Elkin Dario Montoya dedication and extreme care during each different processes make his coffee special.
To create his Natural micro-lots, the coffee harvested is sorted and packed in bags and remains there for 35 hours. It is important that the bag is not broken and that afterwards, the temperature is not too high. Then, once the coffee is taken to the raised beds, Elkin makes sure that the layer of coffee cherries is no more than 1 centimetre high. Plus, as the cherries dry, he moves them constantly. The drying process lasts around 20 days.
For his Washed coffee, the fermentation includes 24 hours in cherry and then after the coffee is de-pulped, it ferments for another 180 hours in the water in closed tanks with a valve. Then, it is taken out, washed in long channels and put to the raised beds to dry for an average of 15 days.
Coffee price is a hot topic for any Colombian coffee farmer, whose life only goes around coffee. Elkin Dario revealed to us that it’s also one of the reasons why many young people leave the countryside and move to the cities. They don’t see any future in the coffee fields.
The main expectation of Elkin about us is to build a steadfast and strong business relationship. 2021 is the first year working with Finca La Yalena, but The Coffee Quest is thrilled about future collaborations since we see high potential in his coffee, and in this partnership, we both share a common element: trust.
The high altitude of Finca La Yalena (2100 m) is a great advantage also to prevent plants’ diseases, avoiding the need for reactive desease protection. Elkin Dario Diosa Montoya feels indeed lucky because his finca does not suffer almost from any plague at all.
Finca La Yalena includes different forms of coffee processing in order to avoid the environment’s contamination as much as possible. Plus, Elkin Dario is extremely careful with the post-harvest process. For example, the by-product mucilage of the coffee is used for organic compost and now he’s focussing on Naturals as well.