The origin story behind our special release Ananias Silvestre coffee.

Posted by admin in Coffee Trails

Origin story told by Bill Ballard; Green Bean Buyer.

Our Green Bean Buyer Billy, escaping the rain at Anaias Silvestre's farm.

Our Green Bean Buyer Billy, escaping the rain at Anaias Silvestre’s farm.

I first tasted this coffee in a cupping lab in Armenia which is a 45 minute flight north west of Bogota. From the moment I smelt the dry grounds I knew we had something special. By the time the cupping team had finished with scoring this coffee it had an average of 87.5 and our tasting notes captured the notes of mandarin, peach, grapefruit and black pepper.

It was only moments later that we had booked our flight to Neva, Huila and knowing that it was going to be extremely difficult to get there; we set out planning how in the world we were going to make the trip.

It was 4am the next day when our alarms sounded. Feeling excruciatingly tired yet excited to get to Bella Vista, we quickly threw on our boots and headed out the door to what was about to become one of the longest and most difficult trips of the year.

After four hours in airports and very small planes we arrived in Neva, called a courier and set off on our first drive of two-and-a-half hours to the little town of Garzon. The drive to Garzon was beautiful. It followed a huge river that’s surrounded by the northern tip of the Andes. So of course I had to ask the driver to stop numerous times to take photos, which extended the trip by at least half an hour.

We finally arrived at Garzon. We left our beautiful big van and jumped into a tiny Jeep and set off again for a three hour off-road trek up the mountains. This drive was equally as beautiful, however the higher we climbed the more the weather started to turn on us. The small jeep was handling the steep climbs extremely well until we got about a couple of kilometres from the farm when suddenly we started to slide… I quickly jumped out as I thought it was about to tip leaving Michael and our guide, Tyler still in the car.

Luckily, just in the nick of time, our driver spun the wheels to the side and saved the car from tumbling down the mountain. We quickly made the decision to leave the car and head off on an hour long walk up to the farm.

The lucky escape.

The lucky escape.

After this exhausting trek through the clouds we were greeted by Ananías and his gorgeous family who quickly saw that we were in desperate need for a coffee. After we had warmed up, Ananías took us for a tour of his farm while I peppered him with a million questions about all things Bella Vista. Even though we could only see 10 metres in front of us (due to the thick cloud) it was obvious that their farm was extremely well kept, and it was very clear that this man was all about quality.

After the tour, Ananías’ wife and daughter invited us to a lunch of scrambled eggs, rice and deep fried plantain before we said our goodbyes and headed off back down the mountain. On the walk back I had time to go over all that I had learnt from Ananías. His unbelievable attention to detail that he puts into the growing and processing the coffee on his farm, and how all of his efforts related to the beautiful cup of coffee I had tasted back in Armenia.

Cheers and happy drinking,

Bill Ballard

Green Bean Buyer.