Our second harvest from Finca el Suelo. This particular coffee is from Ethiopian landrace trees. Expect flavours of stone fruit, florals and citrus.
|Dimensions||23 × 15 × 7.5 cm|
El Pital, Huila
Whole Coffee Beans
This is an Ethiopian landrace cultivar that I planted in March 2019 after getting seeds from my friend Gilberto Baraona’s cultivar garden on his farm Los Pirineos in El Salvador. We harvested a total amount of 20 kilos of this coffee during the main harvest from May to August 2022 but after sorting, grading and quality control we ended up with 12 kilos of the best quality that we are roasting and selling.
This is the second harvest from these Ethiopian coffee trees on our farm. Normally we would have to wait another year or two in order to get some coffee cherries on the trees, but as we planted these trees in huge holes with a good amount of compost in each hole, they grew rapidly and were starting to produce coffee in early 2021.
Although this coffee is more subtle than a washed Ethiopian coffee, you can still expect flavours that are typical for Ethiopian coffees with notes of citrus, jasmine, coffee flowers and stone fruits.
The coffee from Finca el Suelo is an Ethiopian landrace cultivar that was given to me by my friend Gilberto Baraona at the Los Pirineos Farm in El Salvador. I am not sure exactly what the cultivar is, as it came from Gilberto’s cultivar garden. But it is for sure an Ethiopian cultivar that has a lot of the characteristics you can find in coffees from the south in Ethiopia.
The coffee from Finca el Suelo was selectively hand picked by Elias Roa and my friend and world barista champion 2021 Diego Campos. The cherries are hand-sorted before they are processed to make sure only ripe cherries are processed together.
The coffees were de-pulped by using a hand crank de-pulper muscled by the one and only Diego Campos. After de-pulping, the parchment coffee with the mucilage on was fermented for 14-16 hours over night in clean plastic buckets. The fermentation was stopped when the mucilage was easy to clean off and before the coffee flavour got influenced by negative fermentation flavours. The coffee was then washed in clean water. After washing the coffees were soaked for 24 hours in clean water and all ﬂoaters (beans with low density) were removed during the washing and soaking process.
After the soaking stage the clean parchment coffee was dried on drying beds covered with shade nets to prevent the beans from over heating. The coffees were raked throughout the day to ensure even drying. Drying took from 20 to 25 days until the moisture content was below 11%.
For info on how the coffee from Finca Tamana was processed please go here.
We strongly recommend using the correct measurements and brewing techniques when you brew our coffees. Use a digital scale both to measure water and coffee in order to get consistent results, and we recommend using between 60 to 70 grams of coffee per litre (1000g) of water, depending on the brewing method, water quality and coffee used.
We strongly recommend using VST filter baskets. Both the 18g, 20g and the 22g basket is great for our coffee. The VST filters makes it a lot easier to extract the espresso properly which gives a lot more sweetness in the cup. They are also more or less identical to each other which makes it easy to be more consistent when brewing on several groups at the same time. You can buy the filters on our webshop, just make sure they fit your machine (ours fits all La Marzocco machines and machines with 58mm filter baskets). With the VST 18g filter basket, we recommend the following brewing parameters: 18-19g freshly-ground coffee, 25-35s brewing time, 35-38g of final brew liquid in the cup, 93°C-94°C brew water temperature.
In 2015 I bought 7 hectares of land in Colombia from my friend Elias Roa who owns and run Finca Tamana. The 7 hectares used to be a corner of Finca Tamana, but as it was not planted with coffee and mainly used for grazing, Elias offered me to buy the land so that I could fulfil my dream of becoming a coffee farmer.
Initially I wanted to experiment with different ways of pruning the trees, and see if I could plant other cultivars on the fram to improve the quality of the coffee, but as I did not know anything about farming, I started searching for knowledge about coffee farming first. I was flirting with the idea of using some parts of organic practices mixed with conventional farming until I met Mr. Ed Bourgeois at a coffee event in Main, USA. He recommended me to check out Dr. Elaine Inghams work on soil biology, and that completely changed my mindset. After taking Dr. Inghams online classes on soil biology and attending a week long intensive hands on training where I learned the principals behind biological farming techniques, I understood that this was the only way forward for me.
Now the main goal with the farm is to figure out ways to work with nature in order to produce more and higher quality coffee than you can with using mineral fertilisers and agrochemicals. It is for sure a work in progress, and so far we have only managed to produce a small amount of coffee in the first 7 years. But once we figure it out we hope we can inspire other farmers to start working in the same ways. We simply believe it is the only way to make agriculture sustainable.
At the moment we have planted around 600 trees on the farm. Most of those coffee trees are Ethiopian landrace cultivars but we also have some Geisha planted and are planning to plant other cultivars in the future.
We also have a small Cultivar museum / garden where we keep a few trees of different cultivars to see how they perform and in order to keep a small seed bank of these rare coffee trees. The cultivars in the museum are all receiving small amounts of mineral fertilisers in order to make sure the trees grow up, but we are going to convert these to biological farming techniques as well, once the trees are fully developed.
I use the term biological farming to describe the way we work on the farm. Simply explained we try to encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the soil. The beneficial bacteria, fungi, nematodes, flagellates, amoebae, earthworms and all the other little creatures that live in the soil are all part of a food web that the roots of the plants are also a part of. In fact plants feed these microbes by leaching out sugars through their roots in exchange for nutrients that the microbes produce for the trees to absorb. This is the way nature has been feeding all plants for millions of years and is why you never need to fertilize a forest.
We now know that the soil microbes are vital for plant growth. We also know that aggressive tilling and adding salt based mineral fertilisers on the soil will kill a lot of the microbes. Using fungicides and agrochemicals will not only kill the pathogenic fungi and pests but also the beneficial organisms that help the plants grow. We therefore cannot use anything to “kill” on the farm, but have to find natural ways to deal with problems.
In other words, biological farming is to work with nature and not against it. You might say that Biodynamic farming is biological as it is based on the same principles. However, we do not use the biodynamic preparations, but we do consider the moon calendar when we work on the farm.
Is biological farming organic? Yes of course as we only use self made biologically active compost to encourage biological growths in the soil along with natural foods for microbes like seaweed, etc. Please note that Finca el Suelo or our coffees are not certified organic.
Is biological farming regenerative? Yes, by encouraging soil biology you also build healthy soil, improve soil structure, increase organic matter in the sil, store carbon, and also retain water in the soil more efficiently.
Working with nature also means we need to have more plants in the soil. Therefore we plant shade trees, use cover crops and plant beneficial plants among the coffee trees.
If you want to learn more about the soil food web then visit Dr. Elaine Inghams webpage.
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