Municipality: La Plata
Producer Type: Community - Approximately 80 Active Members
Altitude: 1300-1700 masl
Genetic Varieties: Caturra, Bourbon, Colombia
Drying Method: Sun Dried on Raised Beds at Farm
Notes: Cherry, Blackberry, Chocolate an Maple, Berry-Like Acidity and Round Body
Consisting of a single paved road, the community of Monserrate straddles a ridge in the beautiful Cordillera Central mountain range in the southwestern state (departament) of Huila. At the top of the road is a large, brick church that houses a shrine to the Virgen de Monserrate, a statue of a black Virgin Mary that’s become a regional tourist attraction.
Most residents of Monserrate and surrounding communities are small-scale farmers who grow coffee as a cash crop. Huila has built a relationship with a coffee sourcing specialist who began working with the community and had face-to-face meetings with the growers and the exporter to set the price for their crops which ensured all parties were comfortable with the transaction.
While the blended coffee from Monserrate has always been fantastic, a competition began a few years ago to see who could produce the best lot. Once the farmers realized that buyers would pay even higher premiums for top quality lots traceable to an individual farm, the friendly competition took off.
The first farmers who built relationships with roasters served as models of success for the rest of the community, and each year brings higher quality coffees, freshly motivated farmers and an opportunity for roasters and producers to connect in a uniquely personal way. Today, Monserrate’s coffee is still purchased at a high premium over the internal price for conventional coffee, and promotes the majority of their production under the community’s name.