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Our Head of coffee
“This coffee is fresh and bright, its zesty acidity is a real standout and fits perfectly with the flavours of greengage plum and green apple. Unusually, alongside these bright characteristics we have a chewy, round body, a combination that really works especially given the high level of sweetness.”
German Valenzuela has been a coffee farmer for decades - coffee farming runs in the family! His father was a member of the FNCs committee, the national organization for Coffee Growers of Colombia. In this position he would pass on the knowledge and skill to other farmers in his area of Pitalito. German was raised on the coffee farm, spending all his free time helping his father and learning everything he could. He was surrounded by coffee, developing his own love and appreciation for it as he grew. At 25 years old his father gave him 2 hectares of the farm, with the idea that German would use the skills he’d learnt and become an independent farmer in his own right. With everything his father had taught him, his coffee business prospered over the next few years. German knew that coffee was an industry that could support him throughout his life. So he re-invested all his earnings back into the farm, bought an additional 3 hectares of land and planted more trees. German ran this farm for 15 years, then decided that he wanted more - his dream was to grow his business and produce even more coffee - so he sold the original farm and used the money to buy what is today San Antonio. Farming coffee at San Antonio has allowed German to support his family. He’s been married for 18 years to his wife, Avejaneth. Together they have 3 children Juan, Javier and Natalia. German is keen to pass on his knowledge just like his father did. His eldest, Juan, is 16 years old and has shown an interest to take on the family business once he’s finished his studies.
German has split San Antonio in half, devoting one side to the Colombia variety and the other to Caturra. This can be risky as these varieties are susceptible to la roya, also known as leaf rust, a disease which can spread easily and kill every coffee tree it infects. Roya has devastated crops all over Central and South America in the past, but these varieties are known for their high cup quality. German knows that with his skills and knowledge, he can produce some amazing coffee and ensure that his coffee farm will survive for years to come.
The farm San Antonio is located in the mountains of western Colombia. This mountainous region mainly faces north, towards the equator, giving the perfect amount of sunshine to grow coffee. The rainfall and mineral rich soil allows coffee trees to thrive, attracting lots of farmers to grow coffee here. German likes to follow in his father's footsteps - he’s very active in the area, participating in all the coffee event and passing on his knowledge and good farming practices to as many farmers as he can. He also splits his time working as part of the local cooperative, where he sells his own coffee and helps other farmers to sell theirs.
It was always my goal to have a farm like this. Starting out with two hectares aged 25, then buying three more, I had that farm for 15 years, but it was moving to San Antonio that allowed me to expand and produce better quality coffee.
It’s not just about profitability. It’s about being recognised as a good coffee grower, and my ambition is to be the best coffee grower of my region.
I’ve been growing coffee for as long as I can remember. My dad was a traditional coffee grower here, and he taught me the importance of coffee in my life. Now, I try to be proactive. I participate in events, learn new things, and teach my friends. It’s important to share these good practices.
|FLAVOUR||Greengage plum and green apple|
|TASTING NOTE||Greengage plum|
|VARIETAL||Caturra and Colombia|