Notes: Green grapes, clementine, rhubarb, mint
Process: Fully Washed
Drying Process: Dried on raised beds
Roast: Medium Roast
Farmer: Alfonso Eduardo Guerra
Altitude: 1,800 - 2,100 masl
With Las Mercedes, we wanted to bring something new and exciting to our range of everyday coffees. From the first cupping with this bean, we could see that it showed wonderful complexity of flavour and we have been looking forward to sharing it with you. In the cup, Las Mercedes is herbaceous and complex with notes of green grapes, clementine, rhubarb and mint.
Located in the temperate climate and mountainous terrain of southwest Antioquia, Finca Las Mercedes has the perfect altitude and climate for producing excellent quality coffee as well as playing host to a diversity of native flora and fauna. In this ideally situated terrain, the Guerra family have dedicated 150 of their 386 extensive hectares to coffee. The rest of the farm lies under native forest — some 236 hectares devoted entirely as nature and watershed preserve.
In 1960, when Eduardo Guerra Sánchez bought Las Mercedes, the Finca was devoted entirely to dairy production. Don Eduardo’s background was coffee farming, however, and upon gaining control of the farm, he decided to give some small parcels of land over to coffee. Despite the family heritage, the farm continued to produce primarily milk until Don Eduardo’s son, Alfonso Guerra Velez, took control of the farm some 20 years later.
In the first few years alone, Don Alfonso planted 150,000 coffee trees on the farm, and since this time, the principal economic focus of the Guerra family has turned to coffee farming. Don Alfonso’s son, Juan Carlos Guerra, will be the fourth generation in his family to farm coffee and is now involved in the activities of the farm. Under his influence, the farm has increasingly focused on quality improvements and specialty coffee production.
The farm’s Caturra and Colombia trees are painstakingly maintained and to marry productivity and environmental stewardship. Plots are fertilised twice annually and all control of pests and illnesses is carried out using products that are certified as being friendly to wildlife.
One strategy in the farm’s move towards specialty coffee has been to invest a great deal of time and energy into processing and lot differentiation. These efforts increase every year, and with the ideal natural conditions of Las Mercedes, we expect the quality of the coffee (already very high) to only improve in the coming years.