Beginning in 1930, Israel Correa and Carmen Rosa Vega arrived in Valle del Cauca seeking unoccupied land to start a farm, acquiring Potosi. Over the upcoming years, there weren’t major changes in their way of life, besides of raising a big family which was the Colombian tradition in those days. Following this and the lack of labor, the children had to help by doing farm work. In 1945, three different varieties were introduced to the existing Typica; Yellow Bourbon, Red Bourbon and Caturra.
Two of the eleven children, Rigoberto and Luis, showed special interest in coffee production and processing. They decided to give their crop a new direction, changing to organic in the late 90’s. Besides Potosí, another farm in the Trujillo region was acquired to enlarge the organic production, La Esperanza farm. In 2007 Don Rigoberto had the chance to lease and manage a coffee farm in the region of Boquete in Panama, called “La Carleida”, and a year later obtained first place in the “Best coffee of Panama”. At this point he decided to bring some of the Geisha seeds to Colombia, starting a new era in the history of Granja La Esperanza.
Five farms now make up the Café Granja La Esperanza: Cerro Azul, Las Margaritas, La Esperanza, Potosi and Hawaii. With a reputation for producing competition winning coffees, processes are matched with varieties to produce unique flavour profiles.
The Las Margaritas farm, known to the workers as the ‘garden of varieties’, has built a reputation as for competition winning coffees due to the varied and unusual varieties grown.
The Laurina variety or ‘Bourbon Pointu’ was first planted in Café Granja over 10 years ago, and has since been renovated as part of the farms standard cycle every six to seven years. If the tree has produced well and was resistant to disease, then they are stumped but if they haven’t performed well then they are taken out and re-planted.
Laurina is a natural mutation of Bourbon which was originally selected on the island of La Réunion in a place called Ravine-aux Chevres in the 19th century. They are dwarf plants which look like Christmas trees, producing beans that are long, narrow and somewhat pointed. It produces coffee which is significantly lower in caffeine than other arabica varieties yet maintains a very high cup quality. It is very susceptible to leaf rust and diseases, which is why it isn’t widely grown.
Experienced workers pick cherries from this microlot in one day when they are at the perfect ripeness. The cherry is fermented for 36 hours in tanks which are kept in a warehouse which is 22 – 25 degrees Celsius. When this is complete the cherries are taken to a mechanical dryer where they stay for four days, it is switched off for eight hours overnight so there is a break in the drying process.