grapefruit, milk chocolate, lychee
Farm: Buena Vista
Varietal: Pink Bourbon
Altitude: 1830 MASL
Imported by Semilla Coffee
"Jenaro Burbano is a third generation coffee producer who traces his first days in coffee all the way to when he was only 12 years old, when he spent time in Northern Huila picking cherries at a larger farm and saw that coffee could be a possible future for himself and his family. Motivated by this experience, in 1978 at the age of 14, he began his own he had already begun working a lot of his own with the help of his father, planting 1600 Caturra trees.
Just as many growers of his generation in the area, Don Jenaro feels that it was simpler to be a coffee grower in these early days. Despite the fact that most coffee was sold wet through the 80s and 90s, because labour costs were so low and there was much less need for fertilizers and disease control, coffee farming provide a solid living for his family.
Don Jenaro continued in this way of selling locally until the early 2000s when he became one of the first members of the Los Naranjos association. This group would later come to be connected with Cafe Imports and sell their coffee for many years as a blended lot for a fixed price. In recent years, Don Jenaro was one of the members who managed to sell some of his coffees as micro-lots under his own name, however, he has never known who his final clients were, nor how his coffees were received, or had feedback on his work.
Semilla was introduced to Don Jenaro through our partner, Esnaider Ortega Gomez and his new initiative Monkaaba. Though the main thrust of our work with Monkaaba is to connect with smallholder growers who have never had specialty market access, we were compelled to support Don Jenaro and a few select others who have had previous market access but have never been able to develop the real relationships they desired, nor to receive great prices in perpetuity.
Our hope with this tier of more established producers is to treat them with dignity and respect, and to help them cultivate autonomous relationships with small to medium sized roasters such as Chance who are interested and willing to continue working with them into the future.
In our time visiting and getting to know the Colombian coffee industry, we’ve been shocked to find out how many excellent producers live their lives completely unaware if their product will be purchased at all, let alone for a good price. We hope that we can make a small impact on these growers who have been instrumental in establishing the good name of San Agustin coffee as a specialty coffee hot spot, and to finally see them develop the relationships and recognition they deserve.
For Don Jenaro’s part, he’s expressed his commitment to grow and improve. “I hope to improve every day, and I hope in the future to have a client for our coffees, to have better opportunities and to feel a little more relaxed.”"