Genesis Coffee Sourcing of Huila, Colombia

Posted on May 24th, 2024

A tri-town, locally-owned exporter creates greater market access for smallholder producers.


The Genesis Story

Huila, Colombia, is nestled between the two Andes Mountains ranges just before they unite in the south, closing the Magdalena River Valley. The sweeping terrain and water source create diverse climate ranges and arable lands that boast some of the country’s most breathtaking views. A group of Huila towns in this natural cul-de-sac has provided Cafe Imports with over 15 years of partnerships and some of our favorite coffees.

Two years ago, Genesis Coffee Sourcing was founded by a coalition of professional cuppers and producers to support producers and associations in three towns: Asociación Los Naranjos in San Agustín, Asociación Primaveral in Acevedo, and a collective of producers in Tarqui. The founders, Ana Beatriz Bahmon (General Manager), Gina Henao (Accounting/Logistics), Lisandro Cardenas (Buyer and member of Asociación Primaveral), and Faiber Bolaños (Buyer and Vice President of Asociación Los Naranjos), recognized the importance of collective bargaining amidst rising uncertainty and competition after the pandemic.

From left to right: Faiber, Gina, Lisandro, and Ana: Founders of Genesis Coffee Sourcing

Before 2022, these producers delivered their highest-scoring lots to rotating specialty-focused exporters while the rest of their harvests went to other commercial avenues. Genesis Coffee Sourcing’s goal was to provide in-network producers with one delivery point for every coffee. Huila producers needed more oversight of their coffee’s commercialization, and Genesis would create the infrastructure to do so. Genesis developed a company plan, communicated it to the area’s producers, and presented it to Cafe Imports – a plan that would improve the buying we’ve been doing in this area for years.

Genesis Coffee Exporters

  • Locally owned and operated by producers who have known and worked with the network’s producers for years.
  • Collecting greater volumes of coffee across the quality spectrum increases their ability to negotiate and commercialize it fairly.
  • Coffees are sorted in-house into different offering types, increasing the traceability and potential quality of every coffee collected.
  • Pricing structures are based on offering types and the current market, and network producers vote on the prices per harvest.
  • Cupping, grading, and quality discovery are done in-house at each town’s collection points. Producers are involved in the cupping and grading process, creating a natural feedback loop between producer and exporter.
  • Working collectively increases knowledge sharing, capacity building, price security, and growth.

Cafe Imports

  • Collaboratively develops the pricing standards per harvest and offering types with Genesis and its producers.
  • Once agreed upon, the prices are fixed for the duration of the harvest, allowing producers to harvest and process on their timeline rather than adjusting to market fluctuations.
  • Create built-in price adjustments if the internal market comes within 200k pesos per carga.
  • Finance the purchase capital to Genesis and help find other financers for producers.
  • Cafe Imports commits to purchasing every coffee collected by Genesis, adding depth to the offerings we source in Huila: microlots, variety selects, community selects, regional selects, and decaf.
  • Provide Genesis with capacity-building through cupping calibration, education, logistics, financing, product development, and marketing advice.

“Café Con Sentido”


Omar Herrera (Colombia Green Buyer) distills his sourcing strategy into a phrase: “café con sentido” or “coffee with meaning.” Based on our mission, are we being the kind of importer we aspire to be? Are we sourcing the finest coffees while being equitable to its producers? With Genesis, we believe these coffees represent a long-term commitment that honors the history of our relationships. We’ve worked with Los Naranjos since 2007 and began our partnership with Primaveral two years after. Visiting as often as possible, many of us at Cafe Imports call the coffee professionals here friends. We’re enthusiastic about developing a system of coffee buying with Genesis that meets the needs of the producers, ourselves, and you.

Green Buyer Omar Herrera with Gina and Ana.

Read on to learn more about where these coffees come from and what offerings are available this harvest.

The Huila Communities and Producers


Asociación Los Naranjos – San Agustín, Huila

Our partnership with Los Naranjos is among our longest-standing, and nearly a generation later, the association produces some of our most enticing coffees. The 45 producers of San Agustín are intuitive – they know their habitat, how to cultivate many varieties, and process their harvests with precision and experimentation. The colorfully-painted and flora-rich San Agustín has become a tourist destination for its local art and historic sites, and this culture is reflected in coffee production. Through the dedication to their craft, we’ve consistently purchased Los Naranjos’ association blends and microlots for nearly two decades, and we’re thrilled to continue this partnership through Genesis.

Faiber Bilanos, VP of Los Naranjos and Genesis’ San Agustín manager.

Sorting station at Finca El Faldon.

Luis Felipe Leguizamo

Arnulfo Leguizamo and Family

Founder Andrew Miller was a juror at the 2011 Colombia Cup of Excellence, where Arnulfo won the prize, and the highest-yet bid on a Colombian microlot. Andrew visited his farm, Finca el Faldon, and through a new-found friendship, agreed to buy all his family’s coffee in perpetuity. We admire Arnulfo for his wisdom, humility, leadership, and commitment to excellence. Today, Arnulfo, his brother Luis Felipe, and his son Diego manage Finca El Fadon and Primavera, where they cultivate Caturra, Gesha, Sidra, Pink Bourbon, and Tabi. Diego trained as a specialty coffee cupper and returned to his family’s farm, bringing a new understanding of the link between the plant and the final cup. The farms cover two steep portions of a mountainside next to their family’s home, outfitted with a pulper, fermentation tanks, and multiple covered drying beds. The Leguizamo family inspires us and their community, and the coffees on offer this year showcase their legacy.

Left to right: Diego, Luis Felipe, Arnulfo, and Andrew in 2018.

Diego and Arnulfo among the coffee trees at Finca El Fadon.

Asociación Primaveral – Acevedo, Huila

39 miles east of San Agustin is bustling Acevedo, surrounded by cloudy, rainforested mountains with magnificent views of eastern Colombia. This area is the highest-producing municipality of Colombia, and Pink Bourbon was first found in Acevedo’s San Adulfo neighborhood. It’s also home to the 62 producers of Asociación Primaveral. Founded in 2001 with 12 producers, it grew to around 40 members when we began buying here in 2009. Amongst the history and noteriety, modern Acevedo is now defined by the original association members’ sons and daughters. They’ve built a community of specialty coffee producers who experiment with honey and natural process recipes, cup, and have organized a woman producer association.

Green grading at Genesis’ Acevedo collection point.

From Finca El Rosario, operated by Lidian Noriega.

Cupping lab in Acevedo.

Lisandro and Natalia Cardenas

Lisandro and Natalia have multiple roles in Acevedo. Lisandro is an association member and son of one of the founders. He is Genesis’ Acevedo buyer, splitting his time between his farm and operating the roasting, cupping, and buying at the headquarters in town. He’s highly trained in many specialty coffee disciplines. His wife Natalia is a producer and president of Flor de Café, a recently formed women’s association. Last harvest, coffee was being sold under the names of men, but the farming, processing, and maintenance of the crops were all being done by women, along with taking care of the family. In response, Natalia and three other women formed a committee and formalized the association, attaching women’s names to their lots. We look forward to adding these coffees to our Woman Producer’s list in harvests to come.

Lisandro and Natalia.

Tarqui Producers & Genesis Headquarters

On the edge of Tarqui, you can visit the Genesis’ headquarters—a beautiful gray-and-white-tiled new construction with a state-of-the-art cupping lab. Inside, you’ll meet Ana Beatriz Bahmon, General Manager of Genesis Coffee Sourcers. Coming from a family of producers, her exposure to the industry led her to train in many facets of coffee. She’s wonderfully kind, extremely knowledgeable, and is a champion and friend of the producers she serves.

As you drive out of Tarqui, winding up the mountains, you’ll pass neighborhoods of grape and coffee farms. The ecosystem is dramatically different from San Agustin and Acevedo. It’s rockier. The soil is reddish with more clay content. The forest floor is less tropical and grassy, all explaining the difference in crops grown here. The municipality is up-and-coming in specialty coffee, but producers have practiced high-quality, high-yield, conservatory production techniques from the beginning. Although they aren’t in a formal association, these neighbor producers are friends with Los Naranjos and Primaveral, fully focused on producing variety-specific microlots

General Manager Ana at Genesis HQ, grading and sorting.

Green Buyer Omar outside of Headquarters in Tarqui.

Guarnizo Family

An hour above Tarqui is a mountainside covered in flowers, citrus trees, and rows of coffee surrounding the homes and drying beds of the Guarnizo brothers and cousins. The family neighborhood peaks just over 2000 MASL, overlooking layers of vistas as far as the day’s visibility allows. Yaved Guarnizo’s farm is at the highest point, where he’s built a second story on their home for guests and buyers visiting their farm. His son, Juan Pablo, is responsible for one hectare of the farm as he learns to produce Tabi, and Yaved’s brother, Aristides’ farm is just below. The Guarnizo family has been perfecting techniques for many years that we’d consider trending practices today, such as culturing microorganisms for soil application and anaerobically fermenting cherries or depulped seeds before drying. Tarqui producers exemplify why Huila is one of, if not the highest quality region in Colombia.

Aristides Guarnizo, Finca El Progresso.

Overlooking Yaved’s farm, Finca La Fuente.

Genesis Offering Types

Offering Types may vary per customer region.

Microlot and Variety Selects

With Genesis’ presence, we’ve sourced variety-specific and high-quality microlots from a broader group of producers than we have before. With numerous varieties and processing techniques available, you can discover a flavor profile that will serve as an exceptional, traceable, single-origin offering for your menu.

Pink Bourbon Community Selects

After Pink Bourbon was found in Huila, it became the next big thing in the coffee market. Many producers replaced their traditional Colombia, Castillo, and Caturra coffee plants with Pink Bourbon. However, as the market became saturated, the demand decreased. To address this, we introduced Pink Bourbon Community Selects this year. Our approach was to blend Pink Bourbon lots from associated producers that didn’t reach pinnacle cupping scores, develop a coffee with a modern flavor profile at higher volume, and reward producers for growing this delicate variety.

All The Pink Bourbon

EA Decaf

After many requests, we’ve developed new EA Decaffeinated coffees in collaboration with Asociación Los Naranjos and Descafecol. During our harvest cuppings, we looked for sweet, sugar-browning, and citrus-forward washed coffees that will homogenize as a traceable, easy-drinking decaf. It consists of lots that don’t make it into community selects, further expanding our buying and adding value to more coffees of San Agustín, resulting in a stand-out single-origin decaf.

Community Selects

These offers are vital, enabling us to buy more coffee from the communities we have worked with for over 15 years. Instead of only selecting the best, producers deliver all their coffee to Genesis. We then combine lots from the community that are just below microlot quality, considering factors such as flavor profile, harvest timing, variety, and process. The outcome is a flexible, higher-quantity offering that showcases the unique characteristics of a specific microregion or group of producers.

In an industry where quality and equity can be at odds, our passion lies in finding ways to purchase all the coffee we can from the communities we work in. We’ve sourced from this haven of Huila longer than most anywhere else in our 30 years of importing. The producers here are not just business partners but experts, gracious hosts, and friends. We want to congratulate Genesis Coffee Sourcing on their two years of work and look forward to many more. Their invitation to collaborate has developed coffees we’re proud to share, symbolizing mutual respect, stability, and transparency for everyone involved.