*Please note that this is a 1/2 lb. bag.
The tiny producing region of Santa Barbara is very special. When it comes to coffees grown here, it’s not a question of whether they will be good or bad, but rather just how good they will be—this region is responsible for over 50% of the Cup of Excellence finalists in the country! We have been working in Santa Barbara since 2012 and have had great success with Margarito Herrera in El Cielito and Wilmer Dubon in El Cedral. During one of my visits in 2014, Wilmer introduced me to one of his neighbours: Elder Chavez. Elder is a young fellow who owns a few hectares of land in the region next to El Cedral, called Los Andes.
Here's a bit of history on Elder and his farms. If you’re super keen, read it, otherwise, skip to the really cool part where I tell you about this Geisha…
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. Yes, you read that right, Catimor! It was by far the best Catimor I have ever tried, but yet the quality dipped over time, and although it was still great for a Catimor, Elder wanted to produce top notch coffee.
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.
Elder has two farms, his small one in a stunning forest around 1650m and the larger one at the top of the hill sitting around 1800m high. This lot comes from his forest farm where he now grows Red Geisha. The history of this Geisha is intriguing because the seeds come from none other than the Hartmann family in Panama. I was able to smuggle them to Elder in 2016 and he planted the seeds here in 2017 – this is the second harvest of that coffee!
Now back to the upper farm, which was originally planted with Catimor. Elder desperately wanted his coffee to be the best. So, in 2020, he made the bold move to replant his entire upper farm with bourbon and geisha – and farm will begin producing a small amount later this 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!
Elder’s potential has always been unquestionable. Now, after seven years of 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.