La Palma Y El Tucán Neighbours & Crops

La Palma y El Tucán is run by Felipe Sardi and Elisa María Madriñan, legendary and pioneering producers from Cundinamarca, Colombia. The farm is located at 1600 masl, just about 2 hours drive away from Bogota. The name comes from two rare species they discovered cohabiting on their land when they purchased the farm: the Emerald Toucan and the endangered Wax Palm. These species live in a happy symbiotic relationship, something the team hope to emulate with coffee and community.

The farm is eighteen hectares, four of which remain wild primary forest. The fourteen hectares in coffee production are separated into five plots: Typica, SL28, Sidra, Geisha and Java. This is the coffee that will become the LPET Estate and Varietals series, including Heroes Series nano-lots of 25kg. Also on the farm is the state-of-the-art LPET processing facility, where they process coffee cherries purchased from neighbouring farms for the Neighbours and Crops Series.

About the Neighbours and Crops Programme

The Neighbours and Crops program was created to help producers with small farms and limited processing infrastructure gain access to the specialty market. These producers are cultivating typical Colombian varieties including Caturra, Castillo, Colombia, Typica, and Bourbon. LPET buy cherries directly and transport them to their processing facilities. The team work with about 90 smallholder farmer families within a roughly 10-mile radius of the LPET farm.

The average age of producers in the Neighbors and Crops program is over 60 years old, and younger generations who don't see a future in coffee farming seek new opportunities in cities like Bogotá (often with little success). LPET believe for future generations to continue cultivating coffee, it has to make economic sense.

In Colombia, the standard way for producers to sell their coffee is to work with the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC). LPET base the price they pay for cherries on the FNC price. To this they add three potential premiums: Quality premium = 65% of the base price, Loyalty premium = 25% of the base price, Organic premium = 10% of the base price. With these premiums, LPET producers have the potential to earn double the FNC price. This pricing structure is the heart of LPET´s sustainable mission. With this income stability, LPET hope to encourage the children and grandchildren of coffee growers to remain in the region and dedicate themselves to coffee.

About the Processing

This process involves a combination of stages found in Lactic and Acetic processing methods. To begin, all hand sorted cherries will go through a short pre-fermentation stage. Similar to Lactic processing, the cherries will be placed in airtight fermentation tanks with limited oxygen. Once removed from the tanks they will pass through three levels of quality control before having the skin removed by the depulper.

From the depulper, the beans are left to rest in fermentation tanks undergoing an Acetic fermentation, being agitated a few times. Once the process is completed, the beans are transferred to African-style raised beds to undergo the drying process.

If necessary, the process will be completed in the mechanical drying machines where the parchment coffee will be dried at a slow rate, never exceeding 38°C. 

The End Result

The meticulous control in every stage of the production definitely shows in the cup. We enjoy the clean and lively cup profile, with notes of sweet stone fruits and delicate orange blossom florals.

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