After my first visit in 2012, Margarito took the initiative to build a brand new fermentation tank. It was this drive and initiative that I first noticed about Margarito. Since that time, we have been buying his entire production, along with the coffee produced by his father, Juan. From the start of our partnership, I have been working with Margarito to build infrastructure to improve his drying. I have visited Margarito several times each year since then and worked with him, with the help of Benjamin Paz, to set up detailed protocols for drying. Initially, we built a parabolic drying structure with removable curtains to allow airflow during the day.
The results were very encouraging. His coffee tasted amazing, with stable moisture and water activity readings
-- two measurements that are paramount to the shelf stability of green coffee. In 2014, we worked with Margarito to add shade to his drying beds for slower and more even drying. Margarito separates his coffee by variety.
Margarito’s production is very small, but is slowly growing. With his Cup of Excellence funds from 2012, he was able to purchase a small plot of land near his existing farm, in which he planted more Pacas. This coffee started to produce in 2016, and late in 2017 it started to yield a more sizeable harvest, allowing Margarito to grow his production by 30%. In the years since we started with Margarito, his hard work has resulted in an increase in production of 100%. This volume increase is important for Margarito’s ability to sustain himself with coffee - his production is still a mere 18 burlap bags per year.
This past year, Margarito portioned out some of his land to his two older sons: Kevin and Evin. The two sons are continuing their work with the same dedication as their father, and I have already seen the injection of energy they bring to the team. They are keen to improve the farm practices and introduce organic agriculture to their farms. Because the coffee all comes from the same plots of land, we blended Evin and Kevin’s coffee in with Margarito’s.
Every time I visit Margarito, I am touched by his sincere desire to improve and grow as a producer. Margarito is a serious family man, with hopes of providing his children with more than his parents provided for him, a noble goal for a noble man. This green coffee was frozen immediately on its arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.