Dr. Fabio Araujo Reis, owner at Fazenda do Salto, works with his two sons to run their family farm and allow it to thrive. Andre and Juca work with 35 year-round employees, many of whom grew up near the farm, choosing to return to Fazenda do Salto after finishing school. Here, coffee is harvested mechanically, dried on 8 rotational machines and 8 static layer dryers, which maintain constant airflow with a combination of cold and warm air. Initially, the coffee dries in static boxes for 12 hours during pre-fermentation. Cold air is utilized to dry the cherries for 4 days before switching to warm air for 3 additional days until moisture content reaches 15 percent. For the final drying phase, the coffee is exposed to intermittent warm and cold air every 12 hours until it reaches 11 percent moisture.
Part of BioKrop Project's Mt. Olympo series that provides technical assistance for sustainable farming practices, the biodynamic maintenance and processing used by this farm helped it to be win a national Cup of Excellence Award in 2019 as well as be a finalist in the Plan Trifino, spanning Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
The Elala lot is produced at the Bona Qiqe washing station, collected from about 400 farms in the Bona Zuria district. Elala, which means "mountain" in the Sidama tongue, grows at elevations between 1,900 and 2,300 meters. The washing station, which itself is at 2,200 meters, employes 100 workers during the harvest season.
The Goraa lot is from the Sookoo mill in Shakkisso which specializes in natural process coffees. Sookoo works only with a small group of farms and educates their growers in good agricultural practices and best harvesting methods in order to deliver high-quality beans. This lot is certified USDA organic.
Salvador Santos Martinez owns and operates the three hectare farm near Belén Gualcho where he grows his coffee plants alongside fruit trees and livestock. He has grown coffee on the farm for more than 20 years, but in 2008 planted ihcafe 90 cultivar and started focusing on improvements that have yielded better beans.
Located between two volcanic ranges, Finca Muxbal has been in Maeggi Rodriguez's family since her father purchased it in 1959. She now runs it with her son Jorge. They still follow the founding principles her father established: social responsibility, environmental sustainability and high-quality production.
El Bejucal means "the place where lots of vines grow." The finca is the very definition of subsistence farming. Starting from scratch in 2011, husband and wife, Denis and Yeimin, work the farm themselves almost every day. They also grow potatoes, cabbage, beans, corn, squash, and white and Caribbean bananas.