Maritza Irene Pantoja
FINCA PITIURCO STORY
On the slopes of the Galeras Volcano, in the municipality of Consacá, you’ll find Maritza Irene and her husband, Deybyd Gabriel, working on their farm, Pitiurco. The farm has been in Maritza’s family for generations, and the name was given by her ancestors. She has been close to coffee from a young age, essentially born into the coffee culture. Maritza Irene learned about coffee from her parents, as she used to help them when she was young. She recalls being taught how to work with coffee, the processing, and especially the importance of proper drying.
She started her own coffee production around 2005, and in 2018, she decided to venture into specialty coffee. This decision was driven by the better prices she could obtain, and it has proven to be a wise choice. Since then, she has been able to provide better quality for her family and education for her children. The farm is a family venture where her husband oversees the fermentation process, her cousin manages drying, and she handles the administrative aspects. For the harvest, they hire cherry pickers. Maritza believes that the farm’s elevation and volcanic soils contribute to the quality of the coffee. Besides coffee, she also cultivates plantains, avocados, and other fruit trees mainly for consumption on the farm.
Maritza Irene invites you, saying, “I hope you come and visit, so we can share a cup of our coffee brewed by us.
The coffee production process begins with a careful and selective picking of ripe cherries, which are then taken to the wet mill at the farm. There, the cherries are floated to remove defective ones that will float due to their lower density. The cherries are pulped, fermented for 24 hours, and washed. Subsequently, the beans are taken to the drying area, where they will be ready in 15 to 20 days. They are then stored at the farm for approximately a week before being taken to Caravela’s purchasing station at Bombona.