Javier Cantillo Vega
FINCA LOS DELIRIOS STORY
Javier Cantillo is a 3rd generation coffee farmer, learning from his father and grandfather. Many of his relatives are coffee farmers and have their farms nearby, you could say coffee runs in their blood. His farm, Los Delirios, which he inherited from his father is in the municipality of Suaza, on the eastern cordillera of Colombia in the south of the department of Huila. Here at the farm, he lives with his wife Maria Esther and one of his sons. Javier has been in coffee all his life and remembers specifically that he started working in coffee when he was 14 years old helping his dad at the farm. At that time, he helped with coffee but also with other crops they had, to bring food to the table. Eventually, that farm is the one he is working today to produce good quality coffee and as he says, “The farm has been in the family for ages and now he is working the land creating his own history with his family.” It was around 2007 when he started looking to produce high quality coffee. Since then, he has met interesting people in the world of coffee with whom he has shared experiences and keeps learning about drying, fermentation and varieties. Being in this journey of specialty coffee, at the farm they started drinking the coffee they produce at the farm. Working wise, his wife helps with cherry picking, fermentation and drying while his son helps with cleaning, fertilization, and picking. Currently one of his challenges is the difficulty to find people to work at the farm. His goals right now, are to improve his general infrastructure and plant new varieties which have given him good result such as Bourbon and Gesha.
The way Javier Cantillo processes his coffee starts with a good cherry picking which are then taken to the wet mill in the farm. There, what follows is going to depend on the variety as for the Bourbon Aji and Gesha the cherries undergo an in-cherry fermentation of 48 hours in closed bags and then they are pulped. The fermentation after pulping is done for 36 hours in black bags and then the beans are washed twice with clean water to remove any defects. For the other varieties he has, the cherries are pulped the same day and fermented in the traditional ceramic tiled covered tanks for 4 days in which the beans are moved every day to accomplish an even fermentation and then washed 2 to 3 times with clean water. For the drying, the beans are taken to a first station of covered raised beds but in shade for a period of approximately 15 days depending on the climate. Then, the beans are taken to a covered patio where the temperature is going to be higher and it’s going to take 5 days to reach its point.