Cafe Granja La Esperanza
Some of our most memorable coffee experiences
This lot of coffee comes to you courtesy of our incredible friends at Cafe Granja La Esperanza. We have been purchasing from them for 4 years, and in those years several of our team have had the pleasure of visiting their group of farms in the beautiful Cauca Valley. The consistent incredibly high quality of their coffees is testament to the value of good raw material, careful processing, and genuine passion for delicious coffee. We have also forged a tight connection through a shared interest in pushing the boundaries of what coffee can taste like. This has been tied closely to our interest in competition. Most of the national titles La Cabra have been involved in have involved coffees from Granja, including our own Victor Kristensen’s triumph at this year’s Danish Brewer’s Cup. The story of how Granja came to be such a revered producer of consistently outstanding coffees starts in 1945.
The Herrera family purchased Finca Potosí in 1945 and planted several varieties that were unusual for Colombia at the time, including yellow and red Bourbon. This started the Granja tradition of experimentation, leading to some recognition by other farmers in the Cauca Valley. The years that followed were very productive, and the large family of 14 children did much of the farm work themselves, but two brothers took particular interest in coffee production, and in the late 1990’s, Rigoberto and Luis took over the family business and started the push towards what Granja is now. They purchased more small farms to add to their portfolio, and began the process of converting all of their coffee growing to use organic practices. They also looked outside Colombia for further insight, and jumped at the opportunity to lease a small farm in Panama. Rigoberto moved, and his years of producing experience were all too obvious, their lot of Geisha won the Best of Panama within 2 years. When Rigoberto returned to Granja, he brought back not only experience, but Panamanian Geisha seeds. These seeds were the foundation for the next stage of growth, beginning to chase extraordinary flavour profiles and the super high end specialty market. The experience of bringing a Panamanian varietal to Colombia was pivotal to Granja in their endeavour to adapt more exotic varietals to the Colombian soil, showcasing a wide view of the Cauca Valley terroir. They have also begun to experiment with unique processing, using tank fermentation to create incredible control over initial in cherry fermentations, for both their washed and natural coffees. They also use mechanical drying extensively, allowing very tight control over length and degree of drying. This type of fermentation results in very low water usage, compared especially to traditional washed processing. This is another of Granja’s core values, focussing on sustainability. They have also worked very hard on maintaining local floral and fauna, using waste products from the farm to fire their mechanical driers, and switching to organic farming methods.
Some of our most memorable coffee experiences of recent times have come from Granja, and we are proud to be working with their amazing team to share incredible coffee experiences with you again this year.