Benedicto Puentes Gonzalez
FINCA PALMA ROJA STORY
Benedicto Puentes resides with his wife, Helena Olivero, and their daughter, Emma, at their farm Palma Roja. The farm was originally purchased by Benedictos parents, Margot and Benedicto, who still live there, and is in the mountainous area of China Alta, in the rural part of Ibague. Benedicto, a third-generation coffee farmer, spent his childhood among coffee trees, leaming from his grandfather and father. Growing up in his father’s house, he was instilled with a deep love for the countryside, and through coffee, he leamed the importance of doing things with passion and love. Since 2013, Benedicto has been producing specially coffee. His main motivation stems from his passion for coffee and the joy he finds in sharing his coffee with people from around the world, while also receiving fair prices for his product. With a focus on quality, he has made significant improvements to the wet mill and has implemented new coffee varieties, always striving for a better cup quality. Coffee has played a vital role in Benedictos life, as it brought him together with his wife and allowed them to travel the world with their daughter. Helena assists Benedicto on the farm by training the workers and participating in cherry picking. While he manages the overall farm operations, decisions are always made jointly with his wife. As a bonus, Helena is a trained coffee cupper. For Benedicto, the farm holds a special place in his heart due to the daily effort, family unity, and love with which they produce coffee.
Benedicto begins the coffee processing with meticulous manual picking of ripe cherries, which are then transported to the farm’s wet mill. At the mill the cherries undergo flotation to remove defective ones and any foreign materials like small branches or leaves. The remaining cherries are placed in GrainPro bags for an in-cherry fermentation period of 50 hours. After fermentation, the cherries are depulped, and the coffee undergoes another 50 hours of fermentation and is washed one to two times. For drying, the coffee is transferred to covered drying patios, where it will take approximately 20 days to reach the ideal moisture level. During this time, the coffee is moved three times a day to ensure even drying.