Carmen Elisa San Juan
PARTNER´S NAME : EFREN ALBEIRO ERAZO
FINCA LOS CHORROS STORY
Finca Los Chorros, owned by Carmen Elisa Sanjuan and Efren Albeiro Erazo, is located in Bruselas, Huila. To arrive to the farm, you need to hike from the road, up the hill to the farm, which is located on top of the mountain and is surrounded by two cascades. Finca los Chorros is calm, full of nature, with pure air, and nice breeze. Carmen and Efren enjoy waking up to the sound of the animals around.
Carmen used to be a nurse assistant in her younger days. However, she was tired of the long nights and not being able to manage her own time. That was when Carmen met Efren Albeiro in 2010 and after getting married, Carmen moved to the farm, where Efren Albeiro was already producing coffee, but in a conventional way with no quality focus. Carmen arrived in the farm and immediately got involved in the coffee business, taking care of keeping registers and track of the numbers, accounting, and management of the farm. Today, Carmen and Efren Albeiro are a team, they work together and collaborate one another in everything.
They started producing specialty coffee when a neighbor and old friend from the same region started convincing them that they could achieve better prices if they did some adjustments to their processes. “We had no idea what we were doing, we had to call Pedro every day to ask him: how much time do we leave the coffee there? What do we do next?” said Efren Albeiro Erazo. They were very confused embarking in a new journey, but willing to do whatever it took to produce better coffee. They soon realized that every farm was different and what worked for Pedro, didn’t necessarily worked for them, so they decided to experiment on their own. They decided to take different batches of coffee and experiment different times and methods, always keeping a registration, until they achieved great results and were able to replicate the process and improve it. “I remember I went to Caravela’s purchasing station with a bag of many samples for them to tell me the result of each one and identify which was the best. It was worth it because we finally realized what was the process that best suited our farm and a starting point to improve.” said Carmen. They started from scratch, and since then, they have been improving many aspects of their farm, as well as of their lives.
For this couple, producing specialty coffee is much more than receiving high prices, is also about being recognized for their work. For them, it’s absolutely worth the effort, because they know that when they work hard to achieve a great coffee, the recognition is going to be greater! Throughout the years, Carmen and Efren Albeiro have been able to get to know their coffee and recognize the coffee that they have on their farms through education. They have participated in all types of workshops on cultivation, harvest and post-harvest processes, and cupping. Today, Carmen knows how to cup coffee and she now understands when their coffee doesn’t perform well and why. Their constant challenge is to improve the quality of their coffee.
For Carmen, women’s role in the farm is 50%, it’s the same as men, 50-50. At the same time, Efren Albeiro considers that for him, it would not be possible to produce specialty coffee without Carmen and her effort.
Carmen considers that her coffee is citric, with floral notes and notes of panela.