Marinela Yate Gaita
FINCA SANTA MONICA STORY
The family of Oscar Ríos, Monica’s husband, comes from Antioquia, where there is a big farm named Santa Monica, which both of them liked and promised themselves that if they ever had their own farm, they would name it the same. Eventually, they were able to acquire their own farm and name it Santa Monica, located in the municipality of San Antonio in Tolima. Both Marinela and Oscar come from coffee-producing families, from whom they have learned the ins and outs of coffee production and how to run a farm. They have been running their own farm since 2007 and started with specialty coffee in 2017. The pivotal moment that made them prioritize quality coffee was after they were invited to an event in Manizales to learn more about defects in coffee, their causes, and the impact they have on the coffee’s quality. This experience made them aware and led to changes in their perspective on coffee production, consumption, and commercialization.
At the farm, they live with their daughters, Monica and Alejandra, and they have a permanent worker named Duvan. It functions as a well-coordinated family enterprise, where everyone has a key role. For example, Monica helps with administrative tasks, Alejandra assists and advises on technical aspects of coffee during her free time, Marinela handles the commercialization of the coffee, and Oscar manages the wet mill and purchases agricultural inputs.
They are proud of what they have achieved so far, but they aspire to accomplish more, such as the production of more micro-lots. Marinela and her family would like to invite you to get to know the farm and the beautiful and arduous work that goes into the cup of coffee you’re enjoying.
Their coffee process begins with meticulous manual cherry selection, ensuring they only pick ripe cherries. The cherries are then taken to the wet mill, where they are placed in closed bags for a 12-hour in-cherry fermentation. Afterward, they are pulped and fermented again for a period of 18 hours. Subsequently, the coffee is washed and then moved to the drying area, where it will remain for 10 days before finishing the drying process in a mechanical dryer to reach the ideal humidity point.