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  • Producer Series 01: Luis Anibal Calderon, of Finca Villa Betulia

    We are excited to introduce the first release of our upcoming Producer Series: Three coffees grown and processed by Luis Aníbal Calderón and his family in Finca Villa Betulia. Located in Acevedo, southern Huila, coffee here is grown on soil made up of volcanic ashes and clay loam. Though it is not at a particularly high altitude (1500-1650 masl), day temperatures at Finca Villa Betulia are slightly lower than average, leading to the kind of slow coffee cherry maturation that increases sugar content in the fruit and a sweeter cup profile. Ahead of this release,we spoke to Luis to get a better idea of how the farm runs, and how they have been able to produce such special coffees.  

    Beautiful Maracaturra parchment, drying at Finca Villa Betulia

    Luis Aníbal’s family has over 60 years of experience growing coffee. He had his start just over 30 years ago, after receiving a small lot of land as a gift from his father when he was only 9 years old. “That’s one of my favourite memories, because that’s when I started growing coffee and I began to fall in love with it. It’s something that has allowed me to improve my life day to day,” Luis tells us. For nearly twelve years now, he has worked with specialty coffee exclusively: him and his family work together as a team to run the farm, where they grow over 13 exotic varietals. As Luis puts it, this is the way to develop a healthy career in the coffee industry because “by growing different varietals, you have the opportunity to grow in the industry, with the expectation that it’ll allow you to become a key player in the future.”

    Expanding the diversity of his coffee plantation has always been important to Luis Aníbal. When asked how he chose so many varietals, he tells us the answer was in the most obvious of places: his own farm! “Some time ago, I started noticing trees that looked different to the others. I started separating some of those seeds and cupping them and noticed the cup profile was excellent. I started growing these ‘different’ trees and exchanging seeds with other farmers in the region. This move helped me start focusing on specialty coffee production.” Luis reckons this is the way forward for Finca Villa Betulia, “my dream is for the whole finca to be made up of exotic varietals. We want to keep improving its infrastructure so that production improves, and that’s the process we’re currently in the middle of.”

    As a family, we do this work with love, every day, and we want for people who drink our coffees to be satisfied by the work we do

    With so much effort being placed on growing the right trees, running Finca Villa Betulia as a family business has helped ensure the final product is also exceptional. “It has been hard to find the right market for these coffees, the hope has always been that one day we can sell them more directly, without the need of too many middlemen,” Luis explains. Because of this, Luis and his wife, along with their sons and their families, work closely together throughout the year, with extra pickers being hired during the harvest season. This past year, with the aid and teaching of Cofinet, the team has begun experimenting with natural and honey processing - we are very fortunate to have one of those lots on offer!

    Careful coffee processing requires long hours of work

     As we wrapped things up, we asked Luis how he’d like for people to approach his coffees and his answer was heartwarming, “we would like for people that try our coffee to enjoy them and be really satisfied by them. As a family, we do this work with love, every day, and we want for people who drink our coffees to be satisfied by the work we do.” This love and extra attention to detail shows in the final cup, and we are honoured to be sharing these coffees with you.