Although we have only been working with Pancho for four years, and Roselis for two, we are quite familiar with the region and, in fact, have been working with Pancho’s brother – Margarito Herrera – since 2012. Since I first met Margarito and tasted his delightful coffee, I have been trying to get his help to convince his family to also consider producing quality coffee to sell to us. During our first year working with Margarito, we were able to persuade his dad – Juan – to work with us, but his brothers have been more difficult to crack, until Pancho agreed in 2016.
Life in El Cielito moves at a slow pace. It is a tiny community halfway up the mountain, and coffee is the only crop grown in the region. Until 2015, the highlands didn’t even have a road. Pancho is one of seven brothers, and they all produce coffee in this amazing area. Historically, they have sold their coffee, unprocessed, to the nearby co-op. Although Margarito has been processing his own coffee and doing very well since 2012, it took until 2015 for Pancho & Roselis to take notice and take the necessary steps to be able to process their own coffee too. Pancho has been focused on growing and harvesting his coffee, while Margarito has helped him with the processing, and Roselis allows him to use her drying infrastructure.
Last year, we worked with Juan and Roselis to create a small lot from their two coffees. This year, because Roselis’ farm is still small, we have added her coffee to Pancho’s in order to offer these two stellar coffees together for a longer time.
This green coffee was frozen immediately on arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.