CIUDAD BOLIVAR – ANTIOQUIA- Colombia
September 29, 2018
The Cafe Lumbus farm visit was not only welcoming, but informative and inspirational. You can see right away the assembled team is taking the appropriate steps in helping propel the specialty coffee farming practices forward.
Catalina and Juan Felipe picked us up from the Hotel in Medellin at first light and we headed to our first farm of the day about 2.5 hours away. At La Gabriela, which is a 3rd generation farm in Catalinas family, we met Ski, the Cafe Lumbus marketing manager and Q Grader who explained the farm historically produced coffee for local consumption. Farm managers and Catalina are hard at work focusing on different varietals grown at various altitudes, as well as focusing on different processing methods. I saw honey, natural and fermenting methods being practiced at that farm and was very impressed with their enthusiasm.
Our second stop of the day was La Colombia, a farm that seemed more remote with incredible views and steep mountains. We had a great lunch provided to us by the farm managers and family. Then we toured the farm.
Ski got us some baskets and had us give our best shot at selective picking ripe cherries on coffee trees. It is a very laborious process, which also requires a lot skill. Multiple pickings of each tree are required, as unripe cherries are left on the tree to re-picked at a later date.
It is very evident on origin farm visits that producers exhibit the same passion that we have as roasters for specialty coffee. They are constantly trying new methods and applications to an ever changing yet historic agriculture process. Producers are often trying to catch up to market demands, but have challenges because of their remoteness and lack of information regarding customer tastes.
Cafe Lumbus is unique in this regards. Catalina and Ski tour the world from Europe, South Korea and the USA, constantly observing the market conditions. They talk with consumers to get a better understanding of what needs to be done from their end of coffee growing and producing.
You can see the farm level producer evolving as Cafe Lumbus takes a more involved level with their interactions with the end user in the malet place. I look forward to a growing relationship with this group.