Finca Grano de Oro – Nubia Ríos

In Colombia Collective by Karl WienholdLeave a Comment


Farm Name:  

Farm Location:  

Farm Size:  





Farm Characteristics:  


Tasting Notes:  

Nubia Ríos

Finca El Grano de Oro

Sevilla, Valle del Cauca

3.3 hectares

Caturra, Colombia, Castillo

1620m (5315ft)

Washed, 24-36 hour dry fermentation, determined by fermaestro

Patio, separated by batch

Shade-grown under native hardwoods, plantains, and fruit trees; surrounded by mostly uninhabited, uncultivated forest land; no topical chemical use, minimal synthetic fertilizer use. Advanced recycling, composting, and biodigestor methane capture.

ripe orange, winey, lemongrass; very sweet; bright citric acidity

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Farm and Family Background

Nubia Ríos is a small-scale coffee producer in a very isolated, largely undisturbed rural area between the Sevilla, Bugalagrande, and Tuluá municipalities of the Valle del Cauca department of Colombia, where she has spent her life. The area was devastated for several decades by armed conflict at the hands of several insurjent and criminal movements. The silver lining to this awful situation is that industrial monoculture farming practices were not implemented as severely as in many other areas.

Nubia lives on this tiny farm with her husband Luis Eduardo and their son and daughter. They grow coffee, plantains and grows other fruits,  vegetables, and poultry to supplement family nutrition. As is common among Colombian families, Nubia inherited a fraction of her father's farm, split between her brothers and sisters. Her husband, Luis Eduardo, came to the area from Antioquia in the 80s, just as most people were fleeing the insurgencies, and purchased an adjacent plot next to Nubia's from one of her brothers that was uninterested in farming.

They used to grow caturra under full sunlight until 2010 and 2011 when their farm was completely destroyed. Out of necesity, they replanted a large portion in Castillo and Colombia, and diversified their plots with plantains and native hardwood trees, having learned their lesson with monoculture agriculture.

Nubia is a founding member of the Aprodeca association, a loose grouping of about a dozen small farmers in the area dedicated to producing high-cupping, environmentally sustainable coffee. The group is striving to prove that a little extra care and cooperation can lead to an improved quality of life for farming families.

The associaiton has also taken custody of an uninhabited forest at the highest point of the sector to ensure it isn't taken over and logged further. This area is home to the springs that produce the community's water supply. Nubia serves in the association as Secretary of the Community Aqueduct and is involved in replanting the native forest.

Nubia is a humble, kind-hearted person with deep respect for the land she has always known.  She has seen the impact of industrial-style agriculture on her own farm and elsewhere and insists on making every effort to take care of the ecosystem, its flora and fauna, and minimize her family's footprint through recycling, upcycling, minimizing off-farm consumption, and using their biodigestor to capture the greenhouse gas methane from compost and coffee cherry decomposition. She is a proud custodian of the land, a responsible head of household, and the fruits of her diligent efforts are a gift to specialty coffee. 

Regional Context

Valle del Cauca



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