Farm Name: Cerro Azul
Owners: Rigoberto & Luis Eduardo Herrera
Size: 20 ha of which, 17 ha dedicated to coffee
Height: 1,700 – 1,950 masl
Varieties: Geisha; 35,000 trees
Annual Production (46kg bags): 300
Processing: Dry fermented then washed
Processing Facility: La Esperanza
The Herrera brothers come from a traditional coffee-growing family but studied engineering abroad in the 70s before returning to Colombia in 1998 in order to reconstruct their grandfather’s hacienda and to begin coffee growing. Cerro Azul is one of several farms owned by the Herreras.
Based on the growing conditions at Cerro Azul, the Herreras chose to grow geisha. This location boasts ideal altitude, climate (especially night temperatures), soil composition, access to light, amongst several other attributes, that contribute to excellent growing conditions for this varietal. The farm is separated by a hill: one side with foggy and cloudy conditions, the other, more sunny and clear. These differences lead to two different growing conditions, as well as differences in the cup. One interesting thing to note about the elevation in this region is that at 1600 masl, a tree yields 900g of parchment, while at 1850 masl, 280g of parchment is produced.
500 of the best trees are marked for replanting and the cherries harvested go directly to the nursery. There are two sub-species of geisha: bronze tipped and green tipped. These sub-species are mixed amongst the 17 lots. The seeds for the trees at Cerro Azul come from one of the Herreras’ farms in Panama and the first were planted in September of 2007.
La Esperanza is the processing facility for Cerro Azul and it also manages two other geisha farms. 40% of the coffee is harvested and processed between January to June; 60% from July to December.