Faustino Flores Benegas
FINCA EL CEDRO STORY
Faustino Flores comes from a coffee farming family, making him a 2nd generation coffee producer. His parents had their farm in the district of Cutervo, province of San Ignacio, where he helped them and learned about coffee, hence him saying that he has been involved with coffee since 2003. It was in 2009 when Faustino decided to move to the district of San Jose de Lourdes where he bought his actual farm El Cedro, name after 30 cedars he has which he takes care of and protects. At the farm he lives with his wife Sara Chilcon and son David. Both are paramount to his coffee production as his wife motivates him to keep pushing forward and improving, while his son, David is the one with the good ideas. With the switch Faustino did in 2018 towards looking for quality coffee it has brought better farming practices, improving his infrastructure, better prices to provide for his family and in this short time becoming a point of reference in the area to produce specialty coffee. For him coffee changed his life, having a dignified life and his family feels proud of what he has achieved. His son has been a great partner to improve his quality, as Faustino puts it “my son is the one who has the good ideas and recommendations to improve and not be a mediocre producer”. In this path, many doors have opened, and he was able to have some of his coffee in Cup of Excellence 2022, reaching the national round. Since 2019 he has worked with Caravela, having the support and visits of the PECA educator in the area. Faustino’s current goals are participating in Cup of Excellence and be a finalist. On the other hand, he wants to improve the quality of all his production for which he wants to renew his Catimor with varieties such as Bourbon or Gesha.
Faustino’s coffee process starts with a selective picking of the ripe cherries which are then taken to the wet mill at the farm. There, the cherries are floated to clean them by taking out the defects such as dried cherries or ones that didn’t developed well. Afterwards, the water is drained, and the cherries undergo an in-cherry fermentation of 12 hours. Then, they are pulped and fermented in airtight containers from 45 to 50 hours. Subsequently, the coffee is washed and placed in the solar dryers where it will be from 10 to 15 days depending on the climate.