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    Discover the whole story: Part 1

    On the coffee trail...

    Growing high-quality coffee 

    ON TOP OF THE WORLD

    Just one hour’s flight north from Bogotá, the Colombian coastal city of Santa Marta felt like another world. As soon as we stepped off the plane, we were welcomed by blue skies and soaring temperatures. Situated on the Caribbean, the whole place had a real tropical, holiday feel to it.

    Much as we’d have loved to explore, we couldn’t wait to start the next exciting part of our coffee adventure. Heading up high into the magnificent, isolated mountain range called Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta – peaking at nearly 19,000ft - to track down the perfect Colombian cup of CRU. 

    Rocky road up the mountain

    First stop was a coffee farm up in the ‘cloud mountains’. We’d been told that the 78-year old farmer, Bernardo and his family lived there, growing sustainable and certified coffee as part an important Cooperative of small coffee producers called Asoprosierra. We were intrigued and were really looking forward to meeting him.

    The only way we could reach Bernardo’s farm was via the notoriously treacherous mountain roads, so we hired a local experienced driver - just to be on the safe side. Even so, the drive took us seven hours from Santa Marta.

    Just one hour’s flight north from Bogotá, the Colombian coastal city of Santa Marta felt like another world. As soon as we stepped off the plane, we were welcomed by blue skies and soaring temperatures. Situated on the Caribbean, the whole place had a real tropical, holiday feel to it.

    Much as we’d have loved to explore, we couldn’t wait to start the next exciting part of our coffee adventure... 

    ...Heading up high into the magnificent, isolated mountain range called Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta – peaking at nearly 19,000ft - to track down the perfect Colombian cup of CRU. 

    Coffee, coffee everywhere

    As we finally arrived at the coffee farm late that evening, we were met by Bernardo, his wife, Maria and their large family.  Amazingly, Bernardo had owned the farm since he was only 16. He’d started from scratch, planting all of the coffee bushes on the farm and had pulled his family out of shocking poverty by making the move to grow top quality, double-certified organic and Fairtrade coffee through the Asoprosierra Cooperative.

    He and his family welcomed us into their home with open arms and shared their simple, self-sufficient way of life with us, which completely revolved around coffee. 

    READ MORE

    Rocky road 

    up the mountain

    First stop was a coffee farm up in the ‘cloud mountains’. We’d been told that the 78-year old farmer, Bernardo and his family lived there, growing sustainable and certified coffee as part an important Cooperative of small coffee producers called Asoprosierra. We were intrigued and were really looking forward to meeting him.

    The only way we could reach Bernardo’s farm was via the notoriously treacherous mountain roads, so we hired a local experienced driver - just to be on the safe side. Even so, the drive took us seven hours from Santa Marta.

    READ MORE

    Coffee, coffee everywhere

    As we finally arrived at the coffee farm late that evening, we were met by Bernardo, his wife, Maria and their large family.  Amazingly, Bernardo had owned the farm since he was only 16. 

    He’d started from scratch, planting all of the coffee bushes on the farm and had pulled his family out of shocking poverty by making the move to grow top quality, double-certified organic and Fairtrade coffee through the Asoprosierra Cooperative.

    He and his family welcomed us into their home with open arms and shared their simple, self-sufficient way of life with us, which completely revolved around coffee.

    Seriously, coffee was everywhere and nothing went to waste.  It was an incredible experience we’ll never forget.

    READ MORE

    Why work with a 

    Cooperative? 

    Working with the Asoprosierra Cooperative alongside other small coffee producers in the Sierra Nevada mountains offered Bernardo huge support in all sorts of ways - radically changing his life for the better.

    READ MORE

    On Bernardo’s plantation

    This was it; what we’d been dreaming about. The chance to explore Bernardo’s plantation with him and finally seeing the first part of the coffee process for ourselves.

    There was so much to take in. From turning over composting coffee cherries as the sun rose and pulping fresh cherries from the previous day’s harvest to meeting the pickers who hand-picked the cherries on the steep mountain sides, it blew us away! We were so impressed by the time, effort and dedication that goes into every step.

    READ MORE

    On Bernardo’s plantation

    This was it; what we’d been dreaming about. The chance to explore Bernardo’s plantation with him and finally seeing the first part of the coffee process for ourselves. 

    There was so much to take in. From turning over composting coffee cherries as the sun rose and pulping fresh cherries from the previous day’s harvest to meeting the pickers who hand-picked the cherries on the steep mountain sides, it blew us away! We were so impressed by the time, effort and dedication that goes into every step.

    READ MORE

    Next stop for Bernardo’s green beans

    Where to next? The mill back down in Santa Marta, where Bernardo’s beans would join beans from all the other small producers in the Cooperative for the next stages of the coffee process.

    Have we found our perfect cup of CRU? We can only wait and see…

    Next stop for Bernardo’s 

    green beans?

    Where to next? The mill back down in Santa Marta, where Bernardo’s beans would join beans from all the other small producers in the Cooperative for the next stages of the coffee process.

    Have we found our perfect cup of CRU? We can only wait and see…

    Discover the whole story: Part 1

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