Irma Del Carmen España
PARTNER’S NAME: LUIS ALBERTO GUTIERREZ ROJAS
FINCA EL VERGEL STORY
In the beautiful municipality of Santa Maria, Huila, nestled amidst hills, I’ma del Carmen resides with her husband, Luis Alberto, on their farm El Vergel She has been involved in coffee since a young age and fondiy remembers how her father took the time to introduce her to the world of coffee. Ima recalls that during those times, coffee was highly profitable, and the trees thrived without the need for fertilizers, resulting in abundant yields and tall coffee trees. In 1973, Irma and her husband purchased their farm, which already had some coffee trees. Since then, they have dedicated themselves to coffee production and expanded the farm by acquiring neighboring parcels. They became involved in specialty coffee around the time when Caravela started purchasing coffee from Santa Maria in 2016. Their commitment to producing high-quality coffee has enabled them to make improvements to the farm, including the wet mill, drying area, and build a designated space for decomposing the pulp. They are motivated to continue producing quality coffee due to better prices and the opportunity to participate in coffee competitions.
Coffee has been a driving force for Irma, as it has allowed her to provide for her seven children. Currently, Ima resides on the farm with her husband, Luis Alberto, and son, Juval Antonio. Due to her age, Irma is not as actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the farm, but her husband and son take on more responsibilities.
Irma España and her family initiate the coffee processing by meticulously hand-selecting the cherries, which are then transported to the wet mill at the farm. The cherries are placed in an open-air container for an in-cherry fermentation period of 48 hours before being pulped. Subsequently, the coffee undergoes fermentation in tiled covered tanks for 36 to 48 hours. Following fermentation, the coffee is washed and floated to eliminate
defective beans and remove any remaining mucilage.