Jose Ernesto

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Impressions: tart cherry, purple grapes, nougat, cane sugar
Roast degree: 2.5/5

Country: Colombia
Region: La Vega, Ricabrisa, Tarqui, Huila
Farm: Villa Daniela
Farmer: Jose Ernesto
Varieties: Pacamara/Colombia
Process: Washed
Partner importer: Semilla

Jose hails from the small community of La Vega near Tarqui, Huila, which is a bustling but remote coffee growing area that is largely underserved. We love working with Semilla for this very reason: they always try to get market access for smallholders who would otherwise often sell on the local market for less money (see our transparency report)

A young man of 28 years, Jose has been dedicated to coffee growing since he was 12 years old, working alongside his father Jose Ilario Erazo who left him in charge of 200 trees of Colombia variety to manage.
After seeing his son’s enthusiasm, the senior Erazo handed him the reins to a small piece of land where he planted another 1000 trees of the same variety.
He managed these same trees for the next eight years before taking the initiative to buy more land connected to that of his fathers farm that had 1,200 Caturra trees already planted.
This would come to be his farm - Finca Daniela - where he built his home and lives with his daughter, Daniela and his wife who manage the farm as a small family team.

From Jose: “I love specialty coffee - selling coffee on the commodity market is not for me. I’m excited to work on quality and hope to invest more processes in the future, like honeys.”

This coffee feels like the best of 2 worlds, kind of a mix between medium and light roast.

It's developed enough that we get ripe fruits and very high sweetness.

The lingering is very pleasant and we had impressions of grape and nougat, but it's light enough to give a silky mouthfeel and a balanced acidity: think tart cherries and cane sugar.

We prefer this coffee as a filter or black espresso, but we had amazing short milky drinks as well like cortados and macchiatos. If you drink lattes only, unless you like mild tasting coffees, this might not be the ideal beans.

Method Dose Ratio Time
Espresso 16-20 g 2.2:1 30-34 sec
Espresso with milk 16-20 g 2:1 32-34 sec
Americano 16-20 g 2.3:1 26-30 sec


18-32 g 16:1 3:00-3:30 min

 Chemex & Batch Brew

40-60 g 16:1 4:30-5:45 min

 French Press

18-25 g 15:1 3:45 min steep time

Farmer: Jose Ernesto
Importer: Semilla

Price we paid Semilla for the landed coffee in our Montreal warehouse: 18CAD/kg

FOB price: 10,76CAD/kg. The price Semilla had to pay different parties (farmers, milling, exporters, etc) before the coffee departs origin.

Farmgate price: 3,100,000 Colombian Pesos per carga
The National farmgate price in January was 2,450,000 Colombian Pesos per carga.

Semilla paid 25% above market price. To compare to just 2 years ago, the farmgate price was below 2,000,000, and has low as 1,400,000.

This is the third time Semilla bought Jose's whole production.
The family's passion for coffee brought them into contact with many buyers over the years, buyers who appeared to be supportive but never lived up to their words. Sadly, in Colombia, it’s very common for producers to be offered high prices, but for these prices to be continent on cup scores that they have little to no information on our access to understanding how it was arrived at.

We love working with Semilla for this very reason: they always try to get market access for smallholders who would otherwise often sell on the local market for less money.
We also love that Semilla buys tasty coffees, but that cup score isn't the main driver in their buying process.

Indeed, many producers have never cupped themselves and these are left at the
mercy of buyers who know that they will have to pay more when they score a coffee high and as such, often seek to score low in the means of obtaining solid coffees at lower prices. In the interim, the producer is never offered feedback on what they can do to improve, leaving them perpetually beholden to the standards of a system they don’t understand.

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