|Smallholder producers delivering to Manos Juntas Micromill
||Castillo, Colombia, F6
Notes: Medium-light roast. Sweet and savory with tart, winey acidity, chocolate, berry and elderflower flavors
Manos Juntas is a micromill in Sotara area of Colombia's Cauca region. This particular bean was first purchased in its cherry form when delivered to the mill by eight local producers/farmers, on the day of harvest. Upon arrival, the cherries are placed in large hermetic tanks for a five-day-long anaerobic fermentation. The cherry is then "aged" in tanks for a period of five more days before they are taken to dry in the sun for 30–45 days.
Manos Juntas Micromill was established in order to manage the processing, drying, and storage allowing producers to focus on healthy production of specialty coffee, while the meticulous work of sorting, processing, drying, and storing is managed by the micromill team.
Key takeaways about this program:
- Producers deliver and sell coffee in cherry form to Manos Juntas, by total weight. The riper the cherry, the heavier it is. This encourages better harvest practice that directly correlates to higher quality.
- Producers get paid upfront for their coffee, typically producers have to wait 35 to 40 days for coffee to dry before selling it, and Manos Juntas guarantees to pay producers a fixed price well above the market value for these cherries.
- Producers involved are from surrounding farms. This means they need only to travel a short distance to deliver coffee, as opposed to driving many kilometers into town.
- Coffee infrastructure, like drying beds, fermentation tanks, and depulpers, can be very expensive to purchase and maintain. With this model, farmers can forgo all of this hassle and focus on maintaining healthy trees.
There are currently eight producers participating in the Manos Juntas program, each one a smallholder with 1–2 hectares of coffee. The varieties in this lot are Colombia, Castillo, and Colombia F6.