Jaime Muñoz & María Elsi – Finca La Cabaña

In Colombia Collective by Karl WienholdLeave a Comment

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Jaime Muñóz & María Elsi

Finca La Cabaña

Sevilla, Valle del Cauca

15 hectares

Castillo, Caturra, Typica

1500m (4921ft)

Washed, 20 hour dry fermentation

Marquesina - enclosed mesh floor

agroforestry system consisting of a bottom layer of coffee, second layer of cacao, citrus, and plantains, and full native hardwood shade above. 4C and UTZ certified, only uses "blue label" (safe) inputs, microorganisms and natural traps for pest control

floral, raspberry, panela aromas; raspberry, sugar cane flavors; berry citric/malic acidity; smooth body


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Farm and Family Background

The most striking aspect of Jaime Muñoz's farm is that it doesn't look like a farm at all.  Arriving with a bird's eye view standing in the back of a Jeep we thought we had stopped in the middle of a forest. Jaime has devoted a lot of his valuable growing space to native hardwood trees. "I am a friend of the trees!" he says passionately. He is most proud that native fauna largely driven out of the region that often take refuge on his property.

Jaime was stubborn when, in the 80's, national policy incentivized clear-cutting shade trees and planting arabica-robusta hybrids that could endure full sunlight.  We are glad he was, because at 1500 meters, which should be too hot to produce an outstanding cup, his coffee plots are cool in the afternoon sun, mimicking the conditions of a much higher farm. The diversity of plants and animals present also provides the coffee trees with micronutrients  and hydration that help produce a full, complex cup.

This brazen dedication to protecting the environment and running the farm his way has paid off.  Coffee from Finca La Cabaña has been a finalist in all of the recent Valle del Cauca department competitions, and won first place a few years ago.

Jaime grew up in Yotoco, in the western mountain range of Valle del Cauca, He lived for a time in Cali, worked for a long time as a farm hand, growing vegetables, but when he was able to buy his own farm, decided that coffee would be his path, a product to which he could add value and increase price by being more conscientious. He believes this now more than ever and is proud of his 2 daughters for pursuing higher education in coffee.

He and Finca La Cabaña are the embodiment of what Direct Origin stands for: doing things his own way, against the grain, because it's what he thinks is right, even though the traditional buyers pay the same/kilo regardless.  Fortunately he is now part of DOT and thereby able to be compensated for his extra effort by roasters who value it.

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