Colombian Coffee The Human Profiles, El Carmelo

Alicia Murcia is a retired school teacher who, along with her daughter Isaura Bermudez also a retired school teacher, run the family’s estate of FINCA EL CARMELO, founded 72 years ago by their forefathers.

Nine years ago, Alicia and Isaura completed the process of turning the finca to 100% organic processes; after extensive research and experiments they developed their own formulations for the organic mixtures set up their own storage, mixing and composting facilities. Being attached to the land as they are, they have dedicated 1 fourth of their 4 hectare finca to native forests, planted all around the perimeter, in order to set a natural boundary with adjacent farms. Additionally, they use native tree species to shade-grow their coffee, which is totally of the Tabi variety.

The beneficiadero (where coffee is washed and dried) is kept under strict hygienic standards and smoking is prohibited inside the farm.

They constantly host tutorials and courses for the schoolchildren of the neighboring village of Guayabal de Siquima, where they teach the kids about organic agriculture, respect for nature and love for their land. They also train coffee pickers from other regions, provide assistance and skills-training to single mothers, run a neat and efficient coffee production, for which Isaura maintains detailed controls in her laptop, and a complete photographic record of visitors, training and processes, and still find time to brew delicious coffee.

Alicia and Isaura are committed to quality so they personally control each step of the production in order to maintain a high cup grade.

Anecdote: one day, a wounded hawk landed in El Carmelo; Isaura cured it and fed it while it was weak, preparing it for its return to flight. When it was ready, she took the hawk to the forest and let it go. The hawk keeps coming back to El Carmelo to visit.

 

 

By Gazy Kattan | gazy@clearpathcoffee.com