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 has two farms, his small one in a beautiful forest around 1650m and the larger one at the top of the hill sitting around 1800m high. This coffee comes from his forest farm where he grows primarily Red Geisha. The history of this coffee is intriguing because the seeds come from none other than the Hartmann family in Panama – known for their revered Geisha. I was able to bring them to Elder in 2016 and he planted the seeds here in 2017 – this is the first harvest!
Elder’s coffee has been remarkable. His Catimor is the best we have tried. Yet in the past two harvests (2018, 2019) the quality began to decline. So in 2020, Elder made the bold move to replant his entire upper farm with bourbon and geisha – that farm will begin producing a small amount next year. This move is one of the things I love about Elder. He was tired of seeing low scores on the cupping table and simply replanted in one go, rather than preserving some income from the farm by replanting only a portion. To this end, I gave him a firm commitment that I would buy the Geisha from the forest farm at a high price no matter how it cupped – thankfully it tastes awesome!
A bit more about Elder. In 2017 he 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 has always been unquestionable. Now, after six years working with him, it’s clear that he can consistently convert that potential into tasty coffee, and I know that in the years to come he will be a force to be reckoned with.
We’re proud to work with Elder, and super happy to share the fruits of his labour with you.
This coffee was frozen immediately on arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.