Luis and Oscar Monge have been running their farms and micro-mill - called La Lia - since 2008. They named the mill after their mom, Lia, who is still very much active and is always so welcoming and hospitable to me – especially when it comes to feeding me treats.
Their main farm has been in the family for almost 70 years but used to sell to the local co-op until they set up their own mill and named it after their mom. This particular coffee is made up of the San Roque variety. San Roque is a local adaptation of the Kenyan SL-28 variety. The coffee is grown on my favourite of their farms: Pie-San.
Pie-San was planted in 2014 with San Roque, Geisha, Sudan Rume and several other cool, exotic varieties. This coffee has been a personal favourite of mine since I first tried it in 2018. It took me a couple of years to convince Luis to allow us to have it (it’s a coffee they have used in national competitions), and I’m honoured to be able to have it on our menu every year. This coffee always impresses me with its juicy acidity and its elegance. I’m always blown away how the coffee changes (for the better) as it cools in the cup. This harvest of their SL-28 is probably my favourite since we started buying it!
I have long been impressed with Luis and Oscar’s forward-thinking mentality and their demeanour towards their staff and pickers. They’re kind, humble and committed to quality and I love that we get the opportunity to work with them!
This past year, I had a chance to walk the farm with the two brothers and I love the way they’re caring to the trees. The farm was immaculate and the portion of the farm that has the SL-28 is so sheltered and peaceful, the trees look so happy.
As always, this green coffee was frozen immediately on arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.