In late July of 2017 we traveled to Colombia for our first origin trip. Through Colombian friends we got introduced to Azahar, a green coffee exporter from Bogota. However, through a lucky coincidence, the friends we knew and who hosted us for our 3 week trip, also had a background in coffee. So before flying to Armenia, the „coffee-belt“ of Colombia, we decided to take a trip to Socorro in the district of Santander which is around 6 hours drive by car from Bogota. Here’s our story:
The farm we visited is called Hacienda Morros. It is currently run by George Salazar who represents the 3rd generation of coffee farmers on that land. His family has been in the coffee business since 1945 and they currently produce around 150tons of green coffee every year. Located between 1500 – 1800 meter above sea level, the farm offers great potential for amazing coffees. Which is what Maria Paula, Georges daughter thought and why she convinced him to start experimenting with specialty coffee.
When we arrived and introduced ourselves to the family the hospitality we received was incredibly warm and welcoming. We had never met, never spoken over the phone or anything similar, but we were welcomed like long time friends. We spoke for around an hour late at night about the ideas that Coffee for a better place represents and wishes to achieve and soon realized we shared the same values and concepts when it comes to coffee and the world around it. The next day at 6AM we started our tour to the farm which was located around 30min outside of the small city. Once we arrived at the farm, George showed us everything. From where he hosts his workers during the harvest, to the washing stations and the depulper. Most interesting for us was a spare room which was used by the community to hold small educational presentations. The latest one was on maternal health. George and his family have been known in the region for supporting the community, both by providing work on the farm and by supporting education programs which benefit the people.
Later on we took the jeep and went into the plantations. The land was spectacular. Everything you could see was coffee. During our trip George told us that he had dedicated a piece of land for coffee which he will now start processing naturally, in the hopes of creating a sweet cup. Also, as Maria Paula told us, they are going to be experimenting with different honeys this year. Even though the farm has been around since over 60 years, it is their first experience with specialty coffee. In the future, George wishes to learn how to roast which will allow him to improve the quality of his coffee step by step.
We could stayed in Morros for days. The experience was truly eyeopening. Once we exchanged all our contact information and said goodbye, all sorts of ideas on how to work with the hacienda Morros or how to support their efforts on helping the people in the area came into our heads.
We have been in touch ever since. And we will definitely be back!