ILSE Jilardo Ortega
From the roaster...
We taste: Green apple, Pineapple, Honey
Region: Sevilla, San Agustin, Huila
Altitude: 1950 MASL
Harvest: January 2021 Main Harvest
We are so happy and really honored to be able to share this coffee. Jildardo is a young, motivated producer who is a member of Monkaaba in San Agustin. Remarkably, this is his first time selling his coffee internationally. This was probably our favorite Colombian coffee we tasted this year and we are so fortunate to have purchased his entire lot.
His Caturra is juicy, very sweet, and incredibly balanced. When we first tasted a sample we were stunned with just how full it was. We get flavors of Clover honey, a ton of yellow and green fruits, green apple, and pineapple.
We are so very excited to continue working with Jildardo and seeing what he produces next!
Jildardo got his start as a coffee producer at the age of 14, when his mother, Rose Ortega gave him and his brother a small plot of land with just 800 Caturra trees. This was his first means of earning a living and he saw the opportunity in it. But, due to his family's financial situation, he had to look for work off of the farm in order to earn enough money to buy more land and invest in his own infrastructure.
By the age of 25, he was able to save enough money to buy another half hectare of land, which made him very happy and accomplished but still he needed to look for work elsewhere, sometimes traveling great distances to find farms that paid well.
As more time passed, he was able to spend more time on his own farm, but still was only selling his coffee "en verde" (de-pulped, but not dried) as he lacked the infrastructure to process and dry his own coffee.
Essentially what he was doing, and what we hear about all too often, was selling his harvest only to pay off the debts and labor it costs to produce, which of course is not a sustainable business. However, throughout all of this, he was connected with Esnaider Ortega Gomez and his family and began working on their farms. He was amazed at the care and dedication they put into their coffee. At this point, Jildardo says, "This is where my dream to process my own coffee into parchment began".
With the support of Esnaider and his family, Jildardo learned what it took to produce coffee with a high cup quality. In his first season of drying his own coffee, he learned that he was achieving high cup scores but unfortunately due to lack of money, he continued selling his coffee in the local market as he relied on getting the money immediately. This is a struggle many new producers face, as they are used to selling at low prices in order to receive the funds right away, and unfortunately, the specialty market doesn't offer that at this time.
Luckily for us, this year Jildardo was given a small loan from Monkaaba to sustain him while he waited for his coffee to be brought to the mill so he could get paid in full. It's unbelievable that without this small loan, Jildardo would have sold his coffee locally for low-market prices. It's a clear example of how broken the current system is. Jildado's coffee was the best Colombian coffee we cupped all year and yet it so easily could have never made it out of the country.
We are hoping to continue buying from Jildardo, and plan on pre-financing his coffee, this way he won't need to take a loan out in order to sell it.
Cherries are collected every 3 weeks at peak ripeness and are left to ferment in
cherry for 24 hours in a wooden hopper. Once depulped, the seeds undergo a 35
hour dry ferment in tiled tanks. They are rinsed four times to remove all
remaining mucilage and moved to the dryer where they are dried for an average of
20 days, depending on the weather.
Farm Gate Price: 1,735,000 Colombian Pesos / Carga
National Farm Gate Price (January 2021): 1,100,000 Pesos / Carga
FOB Price: 3.00 USD/LB
Our Price: 4.50 USD/LB