Ahh yes, it is back and as good as ever. This naturally processed micro-lot comes from the Colombian masters Cafe Granja Esperanza from their farm 'La Esperanza'. This little known variety, Mandela, is one of the many experimental varieties created by the Colombian Coffee Research Centre CENICAFE. It's lineage is from Caturra and Ethiopian landrace.
This 'natural' aka 'dried in the skin' has undergone 36hrs dry fermentation immediately after picking, then left for 48hrs in the silo dryers before final sun-drying. It's then held in storage (reposo) for at least one month to stabilise and reduce the astringency of 'freshness'.
Five farms make up Café Granja La Esperanza – Cerro Azul, Las Margaritas, La Esperanza, Potosi and Hawaii. Cerro Azul and La Esperanza are located in the municipality of Trujillo, Las Margaritas and Potosi are in Caicedonia and Hawaii is in Sasaima, Cundinamarca.
Café Granja La Esperanza represents the heart of the Colombian Coffee Culture. The original farm “Potosí” was acquired by Israel Correa and Carmen Rosa Vega in 1930, when they arrived to the northern area of Valle del Cauca, as part of a cultural, economic and social, movement called La Colonización Antioqueña (The Antiochian Colonization) where many families, mainly from the Department of Antioquia started to seek unoccupied land in the central and southern regions of Colombia. The couple had 14 children among them Juan Antonio Herrera, and in 1945 Juan Antonio decided to introduce three different varieties to the existing Typica, and that is how he started a crop of Yellow Bourbon, Red Bourbon and Caturra. This was the birth of Café Granja La Esperanza as we now know it.
Over the coming years, there were not major changes in their way of life, besides raising a big family that was the Colombian way. Another tradition was for the children to work on the farm. After 11 children and many years of hard work, the farm was very productive regardless of the internal changes in the country and the ups and downs of the international coffee market. Two of the eleven children, Rigoberto and Luis, showed special interest in coffee production and processing, and decided to give a new direction to coffee production, changing the crops 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 Rigo 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 the first place in the “Best of Panama”, organised by the Specialty Coffee Association 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.
Today, Café Granja La Esperanza specialises in the production and of specialty coffee varieties and marketing those directly into every specialty coffee market around the world. Their profiles are easily recognised and highly regarded, and have been used at various specialty coffee competitions at the top level.