El Rosariom, Huila
Lisandro Cardenas comes from a long line of coffee growers. His paternal grandfather, originally from the department of Cundinamarca, came to southern Huila many decades ago to try his luck at coffee cultivation. His son, who would one day become Lisandro’s father Omar, followed in his father’s footsteps and eventually passed down the “herencia familiar” to his oldest son, Lisandro.
Alongside his father Omar, his mother, two sisters, brother and wife, Lisandro grows six varieties of coffee on the family’s two fincas, Las Brisas, located in the vereda of El Rosario at 1,600 m.a.s.l, and La Esperanza, located in the vereda of La Primavera, at 1,400 m.a.s.l., both found in the municipality of Acevedo. The Cardenas family has a total of twelve hectares planted with coffee, corn and beans, the latter two crops are strictly for the family and their workers’ consumption. About one hectare of the twelve is currently stumped, therefore only eleven hectares are currently in production. The family’s Caturra crop is on its way out, but the rest of the cafetal is planted with the Castillo, Geisha (Omar and Lisandro’s favourite), Pink and Yellow Bourbon and Sidra varieties. Each of the four Cardenas siblings have their own lot but they all process and sell their respective coffees under Lisandro’s name.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Lisandro, Don Omar, and Lisandro’s wife Natalia, in Pitalito. After several months of trying to track down this illusive producer—due to bad cell reception and the acquisition of a new plot of land—we were extremely honoured that Lisandro, Natalia and Don Omar were able to meet us in town for a cup of coffee, especially during the fly crop. While speaking with them, we got the impression that their operation is fully family-run and owned. Whenever Lisandro hesitated to answer a question—we were also conducting costs of production interviews—he would look to Natalia for a response or reassurance; or to Don Omar, whom you could tell was extremely proud of his son’s accomplishments with specialty coffee. All three studied cupping at the SENA (National Training Center) and during workshops led by a neighbourhood association called Primaveral, which Don Omar helped found 17 years ago, to educate the farmers of the municipality of Acevedo about specialty coffee and how to grow and process it. Today, the association has 62 members and Lisandro is one of the community leaders who run their monthly meetings.
During the height of the main harvest season or main crop, which runs from August to mid-December, the Cardenas family employs twelve pickers who come from the department of Nariño to carry out the tedious but crucial cherry collection. The same family of pickers has been working at Las Brisas/La Esperanza for decades.
The sons, daughters and grandchildren of the pickers who helped out Lisandro’s grandfather with his harvest, are the ones who come nowadays, continuing their own family’s tradition.
“it’s really the work of two families”, says Lisandro, describing how year after year the pickers have returned or sent relatives in their place.
“Just around Christmas, they start missing home and go back” added Don Omar, a warm smile creeping out from under his thick, jet-black moustache.
This specific lot comes from Las Brisas and is of the Pink Bourbon variety. After the cherries were brought in, they remained intact in a hopper, for 24 hours. The next day they were de-pulped and fermented for 36 hours. Next, the beans were washed and put out to dry on raised beds for 15 to 20 days.
We aim to ship all orders on the same day. For roasted coffees the cut off is 10 am for same day roasting and shipping. All customers in the UK benefit from flat rate postage at £2.95 (up to 2kg) via the Royal Mail 48 Tracked parcel service*, with the option of expedited postage via the Royal Mail 24 Tracked parcel service for a flat rate cost of £3.95.
Pricing for coffee purchases outside of the UK is as follows;
Coffee is 0% VAT. Equipment pricing shown on our website is inclusive of VAT.
Roastery is open Monday – Friday excluding Bank holidays.
Orders received before 10 am will be roasted and shipped the same day.
Orders after 10 am will be roasted and shipped the following day.
Royal mail 24 takes 1-2 days.
Royal mail 48 takes 2-3 days.