Willyan Rojas Zambrano
FINCA LA MONTAÑITA STORY
In Pitalito, south of the department of Huila, we take the road up the mountains through steep parts until we arrive to the last farm in the top, La Montañita. Here we were greeted by Willyan Rojas and his wife, Maria Esther Lopez. Coffee has always been an important part of his life, as his father was also a coffee farmer, and he remembers being a little kid and helping him in the duties of the farm such as pulping as it was manual and other chores. Willyan also remembers how at the time, the coffee was sold wet or barely dried and taken down to a main road to be picked up by a car. When he turned 16 years old, he moved to Bogotá where he met his wife and had his kid. After 6 years, they moved to Tolima, where he managed the coffee farm of his father-in-law and after a year there, he bought the farm he has today in Pitalito in partnership with his father-in-law but eventually he bought him out. The farm initially was 2 hectares in size but with time Willyan has expanded to the 7,6 hectares he currently has. Since 2003 he has been focused on specialty coffee, always looking for quality and having in his farm varieties such as Pink Bourbon, Castillo, Caturra and Colombia. At the farm he has a someone managing the farm as Willyan had a car accident which limited his ability to work on the field. With high-quality coffee his income has improved and as a result improving the infrastructure in his farm, processes, farm management and focusing on the quality parameters to achieve better coffees. He is focused on quality and wants in the near future to win Cup of Excellence Colombia.
Every three weeks they’re picking cherries at the farm, picking the ripest. The cherries are then pulped the same day during the afternoon in the wet mill at the farm and left to ferment in the open air, tiled covered tubs for 36 hours without water, moving the beans 3 times per day to guarantee an even fermentation. Afterwards, the coffee is washed two times in which the defect beans are taken out. The coffee is taken to the covered drying patio where it is moved 3 times a day and it takes 8 days to reach its point. Then, it is stored in Grain Pro bags inside burlap bags and after some weeks of storage taken to the purchasing station of Caravela in Pitalito.