Don Gabriel has been a farmer since he was a child in Vegachí, some seventy miles or so North East of Medellín, but unfortunately a little over sixteen years ago, violence in the Vegachí region forced him to leave his life there behind. He had to start a new chapter and chose to do it in the neighbourhood of La Sierra with El Tractor. Coffee growing requires long term commitment - when you plant trees, it’s going to take at least three years before you see the benefits - so it’s inspirational to see him taking that risk after being forced to leave everything behind.
He comes from an extremely humble background and lives disconnected from the world in a self built hut, with no electricity, no mobile phone and everything is at least a thirty minute walk away, through steep terrain and in some cases at risk of mudslides. When it comes to the coffee he produces, he uses donkeys to navigate the steep terrain, bringing the cherries down to the washing station where it's processed in tanks before drying on raised beds. The fact he can produce amazing coffee and get it to us is really quite the miracle!
Don Gabriel is very strict when it comes to the cherry selection process on his farm, which we think is reflected really well in the cup! Once the cherries are picked, he transports them to the processing centre. After screening, only the ripe cherries that live up to his high standards are allowed into the fermentation process.