Don Jaime Burbano is a highly respected multi-generational coffee grower whose history and dedication to becoming one of the highest-quality producers in San Agustin, if not Huila, is well known in the region. He began alongside his father, started his farm at the early age of 23, and struggled through many years with poor access to the market. Driven by the premise of smallholder growers taking more control of their future, having more direct access to their buyers and engaging in open and fair discussions concerning prices, he became an instrumental founding member of the Monkaaba Producer Group by pooling his resources to assist in setting up the cupping lab at Finca Villa Maria. Nowadays, at 60, Don Jaime is primarily motivated by the pursuit of maintaining his high levels of quality and by the idea of finally, after nearly 30 years, connecting directly with roasters with whom he can form a durable long-term relationship, giving him price security and peace of mind.
This specific Caturra lot, once handpicked at peak ripeness on his farm, El Guayabo, in the microregion of Muralla, cherries are floated and then left to ferment for 13-15 hours before being de-pulped and undergoing a dry ferment of 42 hours in sealed plastic bins. The coffee is then rinsed and left to drain overnight before being dried under white mesh on raised beds for 20-25 days.
Monkaaba is a producer collective in San Augustin led by Esnaider Ortega-Gomez and selected other growers who have worked for many years to sell their coffee on the specialty market. The group is focused on developing more autonomy over its coffee production and involvement in its marketing and sale to roasters on the specialty market. Monkaaba’s goal then is to assist other growers in the area to not only find a better market for their coffee, one that pays a solid price, but also to invest in the knowledge and skill of producers in a way that ensures their future success.