Raul Frias Villegas
FINCA LA GUABA STORY
In the northern mountains of Peru, in the district of Huabal in Jaen, líes the farm La Guaba, where Raul Frias resides. He named the farm after a guaba tree that stands out, producing plenty of guabas throughout the year. Raul has been involved in coffee from a young age, as his parents are coffee farmers who passed down their passion for coffee to him. Nowadays, he receives help on the farm from his father and occasionally from his brothers. In 2019, he began seeking good quality in his coffee and better prices. His primary motivation to continue pursuing specialty coffee has been the quality he can achieve with his current varieties, allowing him to stand out from conventional coffees.
Raul’s view and perspective on coffee have changed. While he used to follow traditional methods, he is now conscious of the effect of shade on his coffee trees and how it needs to be managed. He also recognizes the importance of processing to achieve better qualities. Speaking of change, he has guaba trees intercropped with his coffee trees, which, besides providing shade, contribute organic material through the decomposing leaves and the f1xation of nitrogen. For Raul, what makes his farm special is the emphasis he places on taking care of the environment, preserving native species, and protecting the animals of the region. One of his signiflcant challenges is establishing new varieties that can contribute to the high quality he aims for.
Raul’s coffee process begins with a careful manual picking of the ripe cherries, which are then taken to the wet mill on the farm. There, the cherries are floated to remove the detective ones before pulping. Subsequently, the coffee is left to ferment in tanks for 24 to 36 hours. When ready, the coffee is washed and taken to the solar dryer that Raul has installed. The drying process takes from 12 to 20 days, depending on the climatic conditions.