FINCA EL OJO DE AGUA STORY
Brenda Hernandez is an entrepreneur, community leader, and producer of Finca El Ojo de Agua, which takes its name from a natural water spring vital to the farm’s activities. Brenda Hernandez tells us that she loves coffee and life in the countryside. The farm has become her primary source of income, but more importantly, a source of employment for many people in her community. For Brenda, the climate, the soil and her desire to improve things are a great combination and part of her success. She dreams of one day having her own coffee brand, as she is always looking for new projects and opportunities to grow!
She has been working with conventional coffee for 9 years, and 3 years ago, she started focusing on specialty coffee. Furthermore, she says things have changed since then, especially in terms of income, lifestyle and mindset. Over the years, she has been involved in specialty coffee, producing quality coffees rated 85, 86 and even higher. To achieve this, Brenda says she doesn’t work alone but that her farm is a family business, with her mother Emma running the farm, Brenda taking care of all the administration, purchasing inputs, labor and selling coffee, and her father Francisco and brothers responsible for managing the farms.
At Finca El Ojo de Agua, different varieties of coffee are grown, including Pacas, which accounts for 40%, Costa Rica 95 30%, Pacamara 20% and Lempira, 10%. They start with a selective harvest to obtain quality coffee, and the coffee fruits are pulped on the same day on the farm. The coffee is then packed in clean sacks and bags and transported by mules or horses to the house where Brenda lives, 2 kilometers away, to carry out the fermentation process. Depending on the weather, fermentation takes 15 hours or longer in concrete piles. The coffee is then washed and rinsed 2 or 3 times to remove the mucilage. Drying takes place directly under the sun on raised beds. However, due to the microclimate and shade, the coffee is not exposed to the sun all day, so it dries slowly for an average of 15 days. At the end of this process, Brenda stores the coffee in a storage room conditioned for dry parchment coffee before taking the lots directly to the Caravela buying station.