Manuel Antonio Agudelo
PARTNER´S NAME : NELIDA ENRÍQUEZ
FINCA LA ESPERANZA STORY
Tucked away in the south of Tolima lies Herrera, a scenic municipality full of amazing producers and coffees. Here, Manuel Antonio lives with his wife Nelida and two children. The farm is named La Esperanza, a name given by the previous owner, but for Manuel Antonio, it signifies hope for moving forward and fulfilling all the objectives he has with the farm. Manuel Antonio has been involved with coffee for almost his entire life. Since childhood, he remembers helping with coffee-related activities and eventually worked as a cherry picker, progressing to manage farms dedicated to coffee production. Finally, he was able to purchase his own farm to start his coffee production. When Manuel bought the farm, he moved there with his wife and two children to a humble house already built on the land. Initially, they grew crops of beans and corn to subsist while waiting to establish coffee production, which required significant sacrifice and effort. In 2017, he began aiming for high-quality coffees at his farm, and since then, he has been involved in the specialty coffee scene. One of his motivations for producing specialty coffee has been the price, but also the desire to produce coffee with the best physical characteristics and sensory attributes. Manuel is proud of what he has achieved and feels proud of his farm, its optimal climatic conditions for coffee production, its soil, water sources, and the rest. He takes pride in what he has accomplished through effort and hard work.
Manuel starts the process for his coffee with a selective picking of ripe cherries, which ensures a better quality in the cup. The cherries are taken to the wet mill at the farm, where they are pulped the same day and then fermented in traditional tanks for a period of 36 hours without water. Subsequently, the coffee is floated to clean it and washed twice. Then, the coffee is taken to the drying area, which is a rooftop patio with a retractable roof called Casa Helda in Colombia. Here, it will take from 12 to 15 days, but if the climate has been cold and rainy, Manuel dries the coffee in a mechanical dryer, making sure to maintain a temperature between 38ºC and 40ºC.