Finca la Falda, Colombia
Roast Level: Light
Process: Washed and sun dried on patios or elbas
Roaster's Notes: Discovered on our origin trip to Antioquia in January 2020, this is a very special, high altitude Colombian coffee. Brilliant sweet notes of crisp green apple, brown sugar and lime.
Producer: Jose Arcadio Rueda
Region: Urrao, Antioquia
Altitude: 1,940 metres
Born and bought up in Urrao, Anitoquia by coffee producing parents, Jose Arcadio Rueda’s passion for coffee was encouraged from a young age. Today this passion is shared by his wife, Marbeluz, and teenage son, Santiago, both of whom help Sr. Arcadio on the farm. Over the 16 years since buying the plot, they have together built up a plantation of 9,500 trees of Caturra variety (locally known as Caturro Chiroso).
The family’s interest in specialty coffee was ignited five years ago when they won the very first regional coffee contest in which they participated. The success of being recognized as one of the best coffees in Antioquia combined with their desire to continue producing high quality coffee gave them the motivation to continue competing.
Their hard work culminated in 2013, when Finca La Falda placed 7th in the Colombian Cup of Excellence. This was a significant win not just for the Arcadio Rueda family but also for the Department of Antioquia, who is a major player in the coffee
production of the country but had never before ranked in the Cup of Excellence top 10.
Finca La Falda is 10 hectares but only 3 are planted with coffee – the rest is planted with corn, beans and tomatoes, which help the family to supplement their income year-round. As such, the Finca produces only around 55 bags of green coffee a year.
As opposed to most farms in Colombia, Finca La Falda’s main harvest (70%) is in the fly-crop season (February-May); the additional 30% is harvested in October-December. His success at Cup of Excellence has sparked Jose Arcadio's
desire to plant more coffee but it also encouraged him to be experimental. He went through a huge round of replanting in 2012-14 and all of the new seedlings planted were the very mysterious (at the time) Caturra Chiroso.
Never heard of it? Well, that’s not surprising. It is a variety of Caturra originating in Urrao that is rarely seen outside the region. The variety is characterised by an elongated cherry and is known locally for its productivity. Jose was one
of the first farmers in the region to begin planting significant plots of it and commercialising it. The variety is truly exceptional, portraying a spectacular cup, with floral and rhubarb notes. We feel very lucky to get our hands on some, year after year, and are grateful that Jose has also shared seed with producers in the surrounding area.
Despite the high quality of his coffee, Jose does not plan to compete in the Cup of Excellence program again. By participating in the contest once and placing so high, he expresses that he has firmly established the reputation of Finca La Falda and is securing fair and sustainable prices for his coffee. Instead of pursuing more competitions, he will focus on making sure that the quality of his coffee remains high across the board.