Origin: Juan Saldarriaga – El Encanto
Juan Saldarriaga is a producer that got two farms, La Claudina and El Encanto. They are about 60 hectares each, but only 42 planted with coffee in total. The rest is still forest and nature reserve. He’s also working with friends and is managing the production for some surrounding producers with Caturras and other cultivars up to 2000 masl. Many of them are young small farmers that are eager to prove that Antioquia has more than chocolaty and heavy-bodied coffees. As for now, we are experimenting a lot together to figure out what works for us and our market.
After Juan recently took over his family’s two farms. He is experimenting with different cultivars at different altitudes, and many of them are recently planted. He is also doing experimental drying and different processes for naturals etc. We met a few years ago, and what encouraged us to work with him was the will to change, adapt and improve to meet the future demand on qualities. Antioquia is known for solid, but maybe slightly boring coffees, but a lot is going on right now, and we think these coffees are proof of that.
The biggest challenge in these environments is the drying due to humidity and temperature. After we met Juan and started to talk about drying under the shade, he immediately constructed drying facilities with raised bed undercover. He has also installed a machine that can dry with cold air and with a software where you can adjust the temperature, airflow, etc, and make profiles on different coffees.
El Encanto – the farm
It is a farm located at 1380 – 1800 masl in the city of Bolivar in Antioquia. It’s currently about 26 hectares of coffee. The varieties are mainly Variedad Colombia, Castillo, good amounts of Tabi, Small amounts Sl 28, Maragogipe, Geisha, Bourbon, Caturra, Castillo Tambo. He’s got a traditional disc pulper with separator and fermentation tanks. For drying, they have 200 square meters of newly built shelves that can be moved from sun to shade. For other drying experiments they move the coffee to their other farm La Claudina where they have a roofed facility with beds, a traditional parabolic dryer, a very interesting mechanical «cold» dryer.