Colombia. Leonilde Poveda
Farm: Villa Mar
Mill: La Palma y El Tucan
Process: Lactic Fermentation
Region: Anatoli, Cudinamarca
Altitude: 1650 masl
For the Neighbours & Crops program, La Palma buy and process coffee cherries from small-scale farmer neighbours within a 10km radius of their own farm, while controlling every step of the process in their own wet mill. After the coffee cherries are picked they're transport to the wet mill and assigned the fermentation process that will be applied for that batch of coffee. A 250gr sample is taken for a quality control test where the minimum parameters are met. All this information is registered in a wet mill format that will later be used in the cupping lab analysis, to be able to connect all the dots on how the picking, the processing and the drying processes influence the cup.
Along with her sister Carmen, Leolinde Poveda inherited the farm Villa Mar six years ago to his father, a traditional coffee farmer. She tells us that she learned from her parents to take good care of the plants and keep the crops well-fertilized so that they can give the perfect cherry. Villa Mar is located in Anatoly at 1.650 m.a.s.l. With a total of 2,000 meters of land, they’ve planted 1,200 Castillo coffee trees in 1,600 meters. Although she doesn’t live at the farm, she loves being in the countryside surrounded by nature. She even hopes for her daughter Marcela, a bachelor in arts, that someday she owns a farm, where she can rest and take care of nature. Speaking with doña Leonilde, we learn that she is a nurse and that she would’ve loved to give training in the health sector. This passionate woman is the perfect example of hard work. Besides the crops, Leonilde runs a restaurant that helps her increase her income.
After the cherries have had their flesh removed via pulping, the coffee with its sticky mucilage still attached is placed in sealed tanks. The Lactic process is anaerboic as the fermentation is carried out in the asbsence of oxygen. The removal of oxygen during this stage encourages a higher concentration of Lactic acid as a result of the mucilage carbohydrate fermentation, which in turn contributes to the organoleptic profile of the resulting cup. La Palma have a great understanding on this process and tightly control the ph (between 5-7) and within a temperature range of 18-25 degrees to promote the thriving of the Lactic bacteria, minimising other microorganisms that can 'take over' the fermentation process and alter the unique flavour profile of the resulting coffee.