Tasting Notes: Nectarine & orange juiciness with lasting toffee & date finish
FARM:Edgar Heladio Ossa Castillo
ALTITUDE: 1772 MASL
About The Coffee
Nestled high up on the steep slopes of the Eastern Colombian Andes, finca Las Mercedes produces coffees whose quality is imbued with the spirit of collaboration and faith typical of the culture in Huila. The people of Huila are known for their strong family ties and warm, welcoming demeanor.
Talking with Heladio, you would find just that, the humble, kind spirit of a man immensely grateful for his livelihood, even more since it happens to be his passion—coffee. Huila’s coffee has become increasingly recognized over the past ten years for its quality and Heladio Ossa’s finca is producing some of the region’s best in Acevedo. His coffee came in second place in Pitalito’s Cup of Excellence challenge in 2011, earning enough points to top the charts at most competitions. While it has received plentiful recognition in cupping events, Heladio’s production never comes from a place of competitiveness.
Don Heladio is one of our most pioneering producing partners when it comes to environmentally conscious and sustainable agricultural practices. His finca Las Mercedes, located in the municipality of Acevedo, southern Huila, is a true example of responsible coffee production. Don Heladio is currently socially isolating with his entire family at Las Mercedes, as he is advanced in age and unfortunately in deteriorating health. That said, his passion for caring for his natural environment, and most of all the for the micro basin or watershed in his community, is admirable and we thank him for his commitment to environmental protection and stewardship.
The Ossa family currently utilizes a series of sustainable agricultural systems. All of the farm’s inorganic trash (any plastic and things other than food waste) is carefully collected in special bags, labeled and picked up twice a month by a recycling company that transports it to their local processing plant in the nearby city of Pitalito. Any food waste goes into one of two composting systems, where the coffee cherry pulp is also collected and made into organic fertilizer for the coffee and the Ossa’s extensive fruit and vegetables crops. The family produces all their food currently, in order not to have to travel into town. They raise pork, and grow corn, beans, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, blackberries, garlic, carrots, yucca, bananas, plantains, lemons, oranges, pineapple and aloe. The farm is book-ended by 15 to 20-meter-long corridors of native trees and plants that Heladio has planted to create a natural protective barrier around the three naturally-occurring springs found on the property. These corridors have brought back many species of birds and animals to the area. Several parcels of protected forest reserve, as well as a small waterfall, are also found on the farm.