Farm: La Rioja
Farmer: Graciela Izayana Perez Bustos
* Farm History:
Searching thoroughly in our memory for the first traces of coffee in our lives, we find the images of coffee trees at the grandpa’s house yard amidst the noise of Christmas. The seducing red color invited us to taste these fruits that were closely invigilated by their owner; we would see him holding a basket picking them one by one and after splashing them with water, he treated us to an unexpected banquet. This is how we, a small group of his grandchildren, laughing with pleasure, would remove the honey inside each grain; then, after a strict drying they would end up at grandma’s kitchen, where the family was seduced by that smell of toasted coffee. These memories, along with our father support, started the idea and the project of devoting ourselves to growing specialty coffee; this idea eventually was shaped after a very disciplined time of savings in order to guarantee the funds needed. We conducted a thorough research process to know about coffee varieties and best cultivation practices; we also visited several geographical areas in search of the ones that offered the best conditions to establish our plantations.
That is how Finca la Rioja was born; a Company dedicated to the production and sale of Gourmet coffee to satisfy the most demanding taste which requests fine high-class Arabica coffee. Located in the community La Esmeralda –Jinotega, in the reserve forest of Cerro El Diablo-Datanli, it was founded in 2007 after procuring a plot of land measuring 10 Manzanas where the first plantation with TEKISIC certified seeds from El Salvador was established. One year later, we bought a small 2-Manzana property where we soon planted Catuai Rojo coffee. Today our farm has a total area of 87 Manzanas divided as follows: Production Area consisting of 62 manzanas with shade-produced coffee, 25 manzanas dedicated to the preservation of the native forest, as this is an ecological protected area where flora and fauna are respected by handling our crops in a traditional fashion sowing by hand and drying grains under the sun. This preservation effort also reflects our utmost commitment with sustainability and the environment.
* Family Generations:
First generation of our family dedicated to the cultivation of coffee
* What were the good practices that you implemented that made it the winner of the Cup of Excellence program?
Among the good practices implemented, we have: Selection of varieties appreciated for the quality of the cup (Bourbon), good caret of the plantation, Make sure to pick up the cherries at their optimum ripening point ,process the coffee the same day of harvest, the cleaning of the areas and equipment used, as well as, count on committed workers.
* How does it feel to be one of the winners?
It is very gratifying to see how the result of our work, effort and dedication led us to position as one of the best coffee in the country. We are proud of this recognition and it commits us even more to improve every day.
* In what will you invest the profits you obtain from the cup of excellence?
First we will recognize our workers for their dedication and passion and then we will invest in improvements in our facilities.
* Had you participated in the Cup of Excellence program before?
It is the first time we participated, we were reviewing each stage of our production process, learning from our mistakes but with a clear objective for the future.
* What do you think of the cup of excellence program?
This contest is an important means to make known all the potential that our coffee has, It is a platform that allows us to reach demanding markets with access to better prices that positively impact our lives and those who work with us.
* Social Media.
|Farm Name||La Rioja|
|Farmer/Rep.||Graciela Izayana Perez Bustos|
|Aroma/Flavor||cocoa, stone fruit, peach, plum, mandarin, and mixed berry.|
|Acidity||red apple, prune, and black currant.|
|Other||sweet finish, silky mouthfeel, and caramel.|
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)||1558.00|