Behind the Beans: La Loma from Colombia

Located in the mountainous terrain and temperate climates of southwest Antioquia, Finca La Loma, translating to“the Green Hills”, has the perfect climate for producing excellent quality coffee. In this ideally situated terrain, the Guerra family has dedicated 20 of their 22.2 hectares to coffee, with the rest of the farm being utilised for livestock.
Having owned the neighbouring farm of Finca Las Mercedes since the 1960s, Alfonso Guerra purchased Finca La Loma in 2005 with aim of further expanding their business. Today, the Guerra family farms are now primarily managed by Alfonso’s son, Juan Carlos, and his grandchildren. This means that five generations of the Guerra family have tended the lands of Cuidad Bolivar.
With years of experience passed down through generations, the Guerra family’s mission is to produce consistent, high-quality coffee, whilst taking responsibility for the environment they work within. Under Juan Carlos’ influence, the farm has increasingly focused on quality improvements and speciality coffee production. Finca La Loma’s 140,000 Caturra, Colombia and Castillo trees are painstakingly maintained, aiming to marry productivity with environmental stewardship. Plots are fertilised twice a year and all control of pests and illnesses are done using products that are certified as being friendly to wildlife.
One strategy in the farm’s efforts to move towards speciality coffee has been to invest in experimental processing techniques and lot differentiation. These efforts increase every year, and with the ideal conditions of the farm, we expect the quality of La Loma’s coffees to only improve in the coming years. The region of Antioquia is fortunate to receive two harvests each year. The primary harvest in the region is between November and February, where 60% of the annual production is collected, with the remaining 40% harvested in the Mitica crop between April and June.
This La Loma lot has been selectively handpicked, before being delivered to Green Hill’s state-of-the-art mill for processing. For the Natural 150 lot, the coffee cherry is placed into 200kg baskets filled with water and sealed using C02 to remove any oxygen. Here, the cherries will remain for between 168 to 192 hours, depending on the atmospheric temperatures, to ferment; similar to carbonic maceration in wine.
Once complete, the underripe floaters are removed and the baskets drained. Next, the approved coffee fruit is taken to La Loma’s patios to be dried. Here, the cherries are regularly turned until they reach optimal humidity. Once dry, the coffee is milled to remove the cherry, ready for export.
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