Finca Hartmann is the model of sustainability, with a diversity of flora and fauna that is truly impressive. The Hartmann family matriarch is Dinorah, who is retired but lives on the farm – sadly her husband Ratibor Sr. passed away in 2016. Their five adult children now run the farm. When it was time to divide up the farm, their father gave them a choice of splitting up the land and dividing it amongst them or sharing their land and dividing the labour. They chose the latter and have never looked back.
The Hartmann siblings work as a close-knit team. Ratibor Jr. oversees R&D, quality assurance, roasting, and sales. He is also a certified Q Grader. Allan is in charge of processing, manages the beneficio (wet and dry mills), and is a carpenter. Alexander is in charge of the farm management, picking schedules, and ensuring coffee tree and vegetation health. Kelly is the mechanic, and works on the many numerous machines that run the mill. Lastly, Alice, the lone sister, is in charge of administration, accounting, and running the various bird watching and nature tours that go through their farm. Naturally, the families of each sibling also contribute and together form the Hartmann “clan”, as they are affectionately known.
Over the past ten harvests I have made many visits to the Hartmann family farm. During these visits, I have learned a great deal from the Hartmanns. I have also had the opportunity to make suggestions to improve some aspects of their business and production. The dedication the family exhibits to the quality of their product is admirable, and makes for a wonderful partnership.
In 2013, the family improved drying procedures by increasing their quantity of drying beds. This allowed the coffee to dry more slowly, and to the correct endpoint. In 2014, the Hartmanns worked to better their selection of ripe cherry. In 2015 they raised the bar with the storage of some of their parchment in climate control and in 2016 they improved their dry-milling techniques, resulting in coffee that is cleaner and has a better shelf life. The cleanliness is particularly evident in the Natural coffee – something that is difficult to achieve with this type of process. In 2017 and 2018 the Hartmann’s continued with innovative processing experiments.
I am very much looking forward to my next trip to Panama to visit with Ratibor and the whole family. Here’s hoping I am able to in 2022!
This green coffee was frozen on arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.