Our Coffee Farm: Finca Idealista
We are coffee farmers like our partner producers. Our farm, Finca Idealista, sits next to a nature reserve, whose trees are a natural air conditioner for our paca, caturra, bourbon, pache, and a few pacamara beans. Our cool microclimate lengthens the coffee cherry maturity process, allowing beans more time to absorb natural sugars for a sweet, flavorful cup profile. In addition to washed coffee, we produce out-of-this-world naturals and honey process that can be reserved before they sell out (contact us).
Our workers receive the highest wages around. Pickers select only the reddest cherries so the farm’s crop reaches its highest level of sweetness. Our living coffee museum provides high-cupping seed varieties to partner producers of Gold Mountain Coffee Growers. Read about and see our environmental practices and social impact below.
When our farm (Finca Idealista) sent its first 22 bags of coffee to the United States, other producers asked for help connecting with international markets. They were not receiving prices that would allow them a decent standard of living, despite certifications designed for that specific purpose! We cupped every single lot of their coffees and selected only the highest-cupping ones for export. Neighbors started copying neighbors with high-cupping coffee, even planting entirely new varieties to improve scores. We now know which partner producers are a great match for your roastery and which will improve their lives while knocking your socks off with cupping quality. Partner producers improve their standards of living by connecting their high-cupping coffee with roasters--installing solar panels and new processing equipment, expanding their farms, improving their houses, and more.
We use refractometers, ripeness teams and ripeness bracelets, treating coffee farms like fine wine vineyards whose fruits must be picked at peak ripeness. While other mills have eliminated human beings from sorting, we believe human eyes should give a last revision to your coffee on conveyor belts, ensuring that when our crops reach you they reflect all the hard work involved in growing them during an entire year. We use special food-grade packaging to seal in freshness and ensure excellent cupping scores are maintained from origin to your roastery. Our staff oversee drying, hulling, storage, exports, and imports, maintaining quality along the entire supply chain to your roastery.
Social impact is the motivation of our social enterprise, and it is made possible by high-cupping direct trade coffees. We offer responsible producers access to credit in a country where access to credit is non-existent for most. Every week we give free computing classes that are 90% female to break through "cement ceilings" for women. When a young girl who lives near Finca Idealista needed an expensive operation because of genetic bone deformations, we obtained it for her as well as a handicapped-accessible house. Recently, we installed running water in a school far off the utilitiy and water grids (we purchased all the supplies and the community helped with installation). We provide local schools with textbooks, desks, small libraries, and other educational necessities. Roasters are encouraged to get involved in these sustainable-development projects and to come see the results directly.
Shade trees protect biodiversity and add to the ecological sustainability of the mountains. On our farm (Finca Idealista), volcanic filters clean water run-off from washed coffee, and we compost coffee cherries for fertilizer. We also produce natural- and honey-process coffees, which cuts water use and creates jobs. We turn perfectly ripe coffee cherries into coffee cherry tea for roasters (also known as cascara tea), and we teach partner producers to utilize similar sustainability practices. During visits to our farm and partner producers' farms you can see endangered three-toed sloths, toucans, howler monkeys, tree frogs, hummingbirds, and exotic finches. We even bought a neighboring rainforest solely to protect it. The Specialty Coffee Association of Europe Board of Directors voted to give us their Excellence Award in 2016 for our work on sustainability.