Farm info

Finca Santa Elena was founded in 2000 by Samuel Roldan and Paula Concha in pursuit of their dream of producing coffee. The farm is located in Ciudad Bolivar, a very traditional and well known coffee town in the heart of Antioquia’s coffee mountains in the southwest part of the department. The town is known for its coffee producing history, with a lively town square centered on the activities of the local coffee businesses.

Santa Elena is planted in Caturra with some new varietals still maturing, including Geisha, Bourbon, and Typica. The property experiences big changes in temperature from day to night, as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit, and the land is very steep. The farm has a very developed system for scoring the had picked cherries and paying premiums to pickers for selective harvesting.

Santa Elena has a state-of-the-art processing facility with an ecological depulper to use less water and prevent contamination, very clean and organized fermentation tanks, and a solar dryer made of glass over a metallic structure. After the picking, cherries are floated to remove defects and then brought to the solar dryer with raised beds. Once on the raised beds, the coffee is kept in thin layers and turned every two hours to guarantee an even drying process and avoid any defects or problems from excess moisture. The dryer also controls moisture and temperature automatically and keeps the drying process even day and night. The drying process takes 20 to 25 days.

Region

Antioquia

Antioquia is perhaps Colombia’s most traditional coffee producing department, with small plots, mid-size properties, and large estates stretching up and down the steep mountains of the Western Range of the Andes that runs through the department, beginning as soon as Medellin’s suburbs end and continuing all the way to Antioquia’s southern border with Risaralda and Caldas.

Coffee growers in Antioquia are proud cafeteros, many smallholders using mules for transporting coffee and planting varieties developed by the Colombian Coffee Growers’ Federation (FNC) for the specific conditions of each of the country’s coffee growing regions and planting those varieties at the recommended densities.

But, recently, Antioquia’s farmers have been branching out to implement new systems and techniques. Almost all of Colombia’s farms include a small wet mill for processing coffee and a drying surface, often a rooftop with a removable cover. Antioquia’s farms are often described as “technified,” applying the latest agronomical innovations in areas from fertilization to fermentation. Today, farmers diversify this technification beyond prescribed best practices suited for the whole department and develop their own technical improvements to make the most of each property’s attributes and produce the finest coffee possible.