Mauricio is definitely not your average coffee farmer. He is a retired doctor (oncologist) who developed a relentless passion for coffee. An avid reader, Mauricio is taking a science-first approach to coffee that will only lead him to greatness. He is growing over 18 varieties of coffee on his farm, and around eight of them are presently in production. This offering is a truly delicious and rare Geisha variety.
In 2012, Mauricio’s wife Liliana wanted to buy a property in the countryside as a refuge from the busyness of their Bogota life. Mauricio was becoming interested in coffee and agreed to buy some property with the condition that he would be allowed to plant coffee on their property. So they found a lovely piece of land nestled in a valley in the mountains of Tolima, near the town of Ibagué, and with a view of the famous Sierra Nevada: a snow capped mountain. The farm, called “La Negrita”, which is named for Liliana’s nickname, is idyllic. Its geographic location, weather, access to water, surrounding vegetation, and elevation make it a prime location for growing great coffee.
When Mauricio began planting La Negrita, he didn’t want to replicate the standard monoculture Colombian coffee farm, he wanted to grow many exotic varieties, each of which would result in a unique profile. At present, he has planted Yellow Bourbon, Red Bourbon, Yellow Maragogipe, Red Maragogipe, Yellow Geisha, Bronze Tip Geisha, Green Tip Geisha, Laurina, Sudan Rume, Cidra, Java, SL-28, Wush-wush, Typica, Villa Sarchi, Pluma Hidalgo, Mundo Novo and Moka. He has plans to continue diversifying the coffee plantation further as he grows.
Despite having some of the best coffee varieties in the country, Mauricio’s biggest asset is his processing. He is innovating his fermentation processes by experimenting with controlled enzyme injections and the addition of phosphoric acid to the fermentation tank to aid in the process. He is also innovating in his drying by installing fans and de-humidifiers inside his drying structures. This helps in creating a low humidity environment for drying coffee, which improves the drying significantly. He also recently built a climate-controlled warehouse to store all of his coffee prior to export. Climate-controlled warehouses are unheard of in the coffee world. Needless to say, Mauricio is an innovator and we are excited to be working with him and learning together.