Farm: La Argentina
Processing: 24 hours fermentation & dried on parabolic beds
Altitude: 1,990 meters above sea level
Owner: Familia Gomez
Town / City: Tabor
Finca Argentina Familia Gomez - Colombia
When her husband passed away over a decade ago, Isuara Martinez wasn’t quite sure what she was going to do about maintaining the family’s 6 hectare coffee farm, located in the prime coffee-growing land in the sub-municipality of Tabor in Timaná, Huila. She, herself, was already in her 50s and wasn’t up to all the work required to continue farming high quality coffee. In a development unusual in rural Colombia today, where small farms are increasingly subdivided into ever smaller parcels as they are passed onto the children of a farm’s owner, Doña Isuara’s children decided to help manage their family’s collective.
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.
We found out about this coffee through our good friends at the Santa Barbara Estate, who serve it in their flagship specialty café, Pergamino, in Medellin. Specifically in Cauca, they have launched a new pilot project with the Pillimue family in San Antonio. In order to offer upmarket access more widely in the region and to put more control in the hands of local people, the family (who has long supplied coffee to Pergamino from their various family member farms) has opened a small warehouse and cupping lab with funding from Pergamino. They act as logistics and sourcing partners and are able to provide quality assessment services for nearly 150 families in the area, which is far more impactful than any other regional association in the area, reaching not just San Antonio, but now also the towns of Belen, La Palmera, Aguablanca, Pedregal, Palmichal, San Jose and Santa Teresa. Most importantly, the Pillimue/Pergamino partnership enables more families than ever before to access higher prices by placing coffee on the specialty market.
During the harvest season, Pergamino has committed to monthly visits to the group in order to cup and advise on quality. All coffee produced by the group that cups at 85+ points will be purchased, and higher scoring lots may be held aside as micro lots to be marketed under the farmer/family’s own name.