La Huerta farm is located in Las Flores community in the municipality of Santa Bárbara, Department of Santa Bárbara. It has an altitude of 1800 meters above sea level and is located in the hearth of the Protected Area Montaña Santa Bárbara. The Montaña Santa Bárbara is home of a huge quantity of endemic flora and fauna species, it is a rainforest and water load zone for Yojoa Lake, the main natural water body of the country.
I bought this property three years ago because its location has good agro-climate conditions to produce good quality coffee. I have produced coffee with my family support 25 years ago in Quimistan, Santa Bárbara but there is a lower land where is not possible produce a good quality coffee. My family is formed by my wife, my son and my daughter and one grandson and one granddaughter.
During the harvest season I contract 30 families to work in the picking, milling, drying and selecting activities. Three families live in the farm permanently and gave then houses and the opportunity to produce other products.
The pulp is decomposed and then applied in the plantation as organic fertilizer. We keep 15% of shade in the plantation, due to the height is not recommended to have more shade. We make the fertilization twice by year, following the technical recommendations of IHCAFE technicians. We use a mix of macronutrients formula and a source of nitrogen; also we make an organic fertilization with the pulp. Because we had the well nourished plantation and the height had no rust attack.
What is the secret for winning this competition (describe the preparation process of the competing lot)?
First the farm location, it has the best conditions to produce a good quality coffee, we have implemented good agronomic practices in the field process. The picking is made when the cherries are ripe, milling is made the same day with pure water that comes to the mountain. And finally the dried process is made in African beds (solar driers) which preserve the quality avoiding the contamination of the coffee.
How does it feel to be a winner of the Cup of Excellence?
Is my best successful as producer, I am happy to see that all the effort of the people that work with me and my own is rewarded and now the coffee world know what kind of coffee we can produce.
I think is a best quality program of IHCAFE, really is a good opportunity to improve our practices and process to enter to international markets. I have participated in two competitions of the Cup of Excellence, and in my second attempt I got the first place.
|Farm Name||La Huerta|
|Farmer/Rep.||Jorge Alberto Lanza Ruiz|
|Size (30kg boxes)||20|
|Aroma/Flavor||apricot, plums, cherries, peach, mango, cinnamon, juicy jasmine, black current, strawberry, melon, umami, brown sugar, cassis, blood-orange, honey|
|Acidity||fruit, elegant, complex, structured, balanced, grapefruit|
|Other||black tea finish complex, long- sweet aftertaste, good pithy|
|Coffee Growing Area||20 hectares|
|Farm Size||20 hectares|
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)||1320|
|High bidders||UCC Ueshima Coffee Co., Ltd.|