A ray of sunshine on a rainy day. This coffee has a remarkably high sweetness combined with a bright, pleasant acidity painted on a darker and softly bitter cocoa background. Flavour notes of blood orange, marmalade and dry cocoa.
We are developing our relationship with Santuario, learning about the agronomy management practices and strong sustainable approach that Camilo Merizalde has achieved.
Santuario farm is situated in the department of Cauca just outside of Popayan. It is clear that the role of the farmer is a critical factor in the success of a farm and Camilo Merizalde is a very special person. He started the farm in 1999 and his work since then has been to achieve the highest quality potential for his coffee. Camilo recognises that interdependent biological systems that support animal and plant life is the basis for long-term sustainability on any farm. To achieve this he has planted a variety of trees providing shade to coffee, organic mulch and moisture retention as well as a habitat for birds.
Coffee: The trees all show young tissue (new growth) and are extremely healthy with no sign of disease, which is an exceptional sight on a coffee farm. The farm is managed according to organic principles, but is not certified. It is likely that due to the high altitude at 1900-2050mASL, growth is slow and considered and consequently harvests are small and it will take time before the plants are in their optimal point of production.
Labour Standards; Santuario has an active approach in considering the rights of workers and created a system in which contracted workers can be a member of a cooperative for the duration of their work period (45 days) so that they can apply for benefits like social security. In addition systems are in place specifically to help manage carrying the sacks of coffee cherries filled by women coffee pickers to avoid them carrying heavy weights.