Armando Rodriguez Santos
FINCA LOS AMATES STORY
A family decision, the recommendation of a friend involved in coffee cultivation, but a plot of land available, led Armando to get into coffee farming. Since then, he and his family have spent 10 years learning about this crop and, 5 years ago, started focusing on producing quality coffee at his Finca Los Amates. The farm’s name refers to two Amate trees (Umbrella trees) that have been his land for many years and are therefore protected.
Amando says the farm makes him enormously proud. “Above all, I feel free when I work, and it’s satisfying to see the plantation full of crops, hoping to harvest the fruit every year while receiving remuneration. Today, I’m the representative and administrator of the farm. Still, the entire agronomic management is in the hands of my son Rudi Jovani. During harvest time, we hire people from the community to do certain tasks, and we work as a family the rest of the year.”
As for coffee processing, Armando and Rudi say it all starts with excellent selective picking. To process honey coffees, they first let the cherries ferment in clean bags for 72 hours (about 3 days), depending on the weather, which is possible due to the elevation and cold climate of the region where the farm is nestled. To remove the lower-density cherries, they also float the coffee. Washed coffees also undergo a 48-hour fermentation in cherry; then, the coffee is pulped and fermented in parchment paper for another 12 hours. The drying process is 100% on raised beds. On average, honey coffee takes 30 days to reach its optimal moisture level for storage, and washed coffee takes around 20 days. It is essential to mention that these drying times coincide with the climate in the region during the coffee season. Currently, the varieties grown on the farm are Pacas, 98%, and Cuscatleco, 2%.
In conclusion, Armando comments, “I hope you enjoy the coffee we produce in this blessed land and that you continue to support us so we can continue to produce specialty coffee.”