In 2015, our first year working with Elder, we only purchased a tiny lot of Catimor, but I made arrangements to purchase his entire harvest starting in 2016. Myself, Benjamin Paz, Elder, and Wilmer met in November 2015 to discuss how to make this happen.
Elder’s farm is at an elevation of 1800m - an altitude that is rare in Santa Barbara - and the few producers who have land at these heights all yield incredibly amazing coffee. He grows Parainema, Pacas and Catimor. Prior to the 2017 harvest, Elder didn’t have a wet mill or drying facilities, so Wilmer did the neighbourly thing and allowed him to de-pulp, ferment, and dry coffee at his house.
Elder’s coffee is very impressive. His Catimor is the best we have tried. Interestingly enough, his Pacas and Parainema are in their third year of production and have yet to shine consistently on the cupping table – likely due to their young age. All his mature coffees are truly impressive, though: fruity, elegant, complex and juicy.
In 2017, Elder was able to invest in his processing. His de-pulping and fermentation are pretty standard for the region: a dry fermentation for 28-36 hours in tiled tanks. On the drying side, we financed a portion of Elder’s drying structures, which he built using a specification we all developed with Wilmer’s help. It’s based on ample airflow and drying under shade. He is now equipped with the right tools to keep the potential that his farm shows.
Elder’s potential is unquestionable. Now it’s up to him to consistently convert the potential into tasty coffee. So far, so good.
This coffee was frozen immediately on arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.