Last year marked the beginning of our relationship with La Fragua. As we are always in need of a good Colombian profiled coffee, it proved extremely useful in our line up. So it was exciting to get back to the beautiful farm and see how things were going.
Juanita, the owner of the farm, was as lovely as ever. Her huge personality and Latin love for life make her absolutely endearing. It was good to listen to her and catch up with her life and all things coffee. As per custom, Juanita showed us around the farm on horseback. Riding horses always proves to be an adventure, but it did give us the opportunity to stumble upon something really exciting.
La Fragua, with the support of the FNC (the Colombian Coffee Growers’ Federation), are in the second year of an interesting experiment. Last year, the FNC gave a grant for a significant number of seedlings to be planted on the La Fragua property. This included a handful of different varietals such as red and yellow Bourbon, Castillo (which is what the Federation want) Typica and even Geisha. Juanita has also cleared a large portion of land with significant altitude variations to plant the baby trees when the time comes. From the sound of things, it looks as if she is going to plant the Typica the highest, then the Geisha, then the Bourbons and then the Castillo at the lowest altitude. Talking all this through, you could just sense the excitement about what this might mean for the farm in the future.
Leaving La Fragua is always sad. But knowing that it is looking to its future, and not just relying on its rich history, made departing somewhat bittersweet.