YUSU and Coffee Soc sat down with Roastology, our coffee supplier, and one of their growers, Francisco “Pacho” José Herrera Gallego, to talk about the fantastic coffee we serve in The [email protected]
Hi Pacho, first can you tell us a bit more about how you grow coffee?
Pacho: Hello! I am the President of Asoapia Pereira, we are a collective group of farmers that produce together, strengthening our competitiveness and allowing us to make fine blends of coffee that in turn benefits the local area.
President sounds like a lot of responsibility!
Pacho: Yes there are many challenges. We’ve seen a decrease in the number of families growing in the area and it can be difficult to compete with industrialised coffee farming, which happens mainly in Brazil. Still we are very proud of the fact that every coffee bean that ends up in our blends is handpicked by one of our members.
Where in Colombia are your farmers?
Pacho: We’re in the west in the mountains. It’s an amazing part of the country. We work between three of Colombia’s natural parks and the wildlife is spectacular. We have one of the highest diversities in bird species in the world. Part of the work we do is to educate our farmers to work with the landscape and the many animals that inhabit it.
How difficult is it to grow coffee plants?
Pacho: One of the trickier parts of growing coffee plants is that it takes three years for them to mature so they can be harvested. Loss of crops can be really damaging for farmers as they can be left without an income for that time. The association helps to reduce these risks with communal funds.
Finally, how do you drink your coffee?
Pacho: Like most Colombians I drink smaller cups of coffee, similar to how you’d make an Americano but maybe about two thirds of the size. Of course I always drink my own coffee!
*Please note: Pacho’s responses were given in spanish and then translated.