Some 10 years on, Familia Gomez is a nice example of how coffee growing can be passed on through generations in rural Colombia. Currently, four brothers and sisters and their families (last name Gomez, after their father) manage the farm, and Doña Isuara manages her own small plot, despite her current age of over 65 years old. Alvaro, Juan, Gloria and Fabiola now live in different houses on the property, each taking care of different plots but wet processing their days’ pickings together in the farm´s old and original wet mill.
Colombia is the third largest coffee-producing country in the world, and thanks to its vast array of unique microclimate, are able to have harvests throughout the year.
Commercial coffee cultivation began in the mid-1830s and spread so rapidly that throughout the twentieth century coffee already became the country’s leading export. A mountainous topography and many tropical micro-climates contribute greatly to Colombia’s reputation for ideal growing conditions, which – in turn – have helped Colombia establish itself as a recognisable origin around the world.
The diversity of coffee and profiles found across Colombia is enormous and coffee is harvested practically year-round depending on the region. The main harvest takes place from October to February with November and December being the peak months. There is also a second fly (or ‘mitaca’) crop several months later, again varying by region and microclimate.