El Cerrito is a 12-hectare farm with 4 hectares planted in coffee (and 2 hectares set aside as a forest reserve), focusing on Castillo and Colombia varieties. Farm owner Jose Duban Carvajal Muñoz was born to coffee-producing parents, but was initially reluctant to go into the family business. Around 2006, he decided to apply for a bank loan to buy the farm, which had been abandoned, and he also studied coffee production with SENA, a Colombian national education program that provides classes and technical instruction to coffee farmers (among other trades). He has applied what he learned through SENA and through experience to encourage his pickers to only harvest the ripest cherries, and he continues to try to improve his processing.
Coffees on El Cerrito are picked ripe and depulped using a traditional three-outlet depulping machine the same day they are picked. The beans are fermented dry for about 15 hours, washed three times, and then dried either in parabolic dryers (1 day) or in mechanical dryers (10 hours).
For more information about coffee production in Colombia, visit our Colombia Origin Page.