Farm Focus: Café Granja La Esperanza

Everyone knows Colombian coffee is high-quality, which is why we’re excited to roast new Colombian coffees from Café Granja La Esperanza. The Herreras, a Colombian family with three generations of coffee-growing experience, own the five farms that make up Café Granja La Esperanza. Each generation of the family made great strides in coffee, like introducing new varieties and switching to organic coffee. Read on to discover more about your new favorite washed or naturally-processed Colombian coffees.

Café Granja La Esperanza’s Three Generations of Farmers


While the Herreras now have five farms, they began with just one: Potosí farm. Potosí means fortune, and a bit of fortune is what now-grandparents Israel Correa and Carmen Rosa Vega found when they set off to Valle del Cauca, Colombia in 1930. Together, they had 14 children, and their daughter Blanca and her husband Juan Antonio Herrera helped to manage the farm. Later, in 1945, Juan Antonio began growing three new varieties at Potosí, including Yellow Bourbon.

Juan Antonio and Blanca worked on the farm while they raised their family. And, with the help of their 11 kids and many years of hard work, the farm was a success, even with the price disparity in the marketplace. Juan Antonio and Blanca’s children may be why the farm has seen so much success. Sons Rigoberto and Luis demonstrated a knack for the family business. Their affinity for coffee steered the farm towards organics in the late ’90s. As the success of organic coffee grew, the Herreras acquired another farm in Colombia to keep up with the demand: La Esperanza, or Hope Farm. Rigoberto also introduced Geisha beans, a new coffee variety to Colombia.

Café Granja La Esperanza

Today, Café Granja La Esperanza is a world-renowned leader in unique coffee varieties. However, this is not an easy specialty to pursue within the coffee industry. The Herreras must adapt new seeds to Colombia’s soil and climate and compete with other specialty coffee producers around the world. Then again, when have the Herreras ever stepped back from a challenge? Our Direct Trade relationship with Café Granja La Esperanza allows us to roast fully washed beans like Yellow Bourbon and Estate la Esperanza along with naturally-processed varieties like the Natural X.O. and Pacamara X.O.

The Washed Colombian Coffees

The fully washed coffees we’re roasting from Café Granja La Esperanza include a bourbon and a single-origin bean. Bourbons are known for their sweetness, and our newest Yellow Bourbon is no exception. The aroma of this bean is delightful. It smells like caramel, vanilla, and a hint of citrusy grapefruit. If the scent alone doesn’t heighten the ritualistic experience of sipping your morning cup, the taste will. Vanilla, delectable star fruit, and chocolate are what you can expect after brewing this bean with your favorite method. The coffee is dense-bodied and hand-picked by the Herreras. After de-pulping, the Herreras stir and taste the beans to determine the ideal fermentation depending on the cup profile they desire. It takes between 17 and 20 hours for this coffee to ferment. Afterward, the Herreras dry the beans between temperatures of 95°F and 113°F.

The second washed coffee we’ve got in stock is the single-origin Estate La Esperanza. A whiff of this bean smells like floral, red fruits, and sugar canes. Taste-wise, your mouth will thank you for the hints of plums, red fruits, white chocolate, malic and citric acidity and creamy body this cup provides. This Herreras ferment this coffee between 19 and 22 hours. After they fully wash it, they then let the beans dry at the same temperatures as the Yellow Bourbon.

Colombian Natural X.O.s

Beans processed naturally result in a fruitier cup as drying the beans early on eliminates the need for washing. As a result, the bean stays in contact with its fruity cherry longer. The naturally-processed coffees we’re roasting from Café Granja La Esperanza include a Natural X.O. A heavy-bodied cup, this coffee smells and tastes of licorice and fruit. The Herreras manually pick the Natural X.O. to ensure only the best beans make the cut unlike with machine picking. They then ferment the Natural X.O. for 30 hours at controlled temperatures and allow it to dry in a silo for 48 to 72 hours with rest intervals.

The second naturally-processed coffee we have is the Pacamara X.O. A perfect roast for autumn, you’ll smell brown sugar, passion fruit, vanilla, chocolate, and cloves. Similar to the Estate La Esperanza, taste-wise you’ll get plums and passion fruit, but you’ll also experience a bit of spiciness (nutmeg) and hints of citrus from grapefruit and black currants. This medium dense-bodied bean has lots of character and a good level of sweetness. The Herreras pick this bean in harvesting peaks, solar-dry it for 28 days, and store it for three months to stabilize it. The result is well worth it.

“X.O.” comes from the Herreras’ unique drying process. The name indicates “very special and extra old” in the Cognac industry, and the Herreras use it to note the same qualities in the coffees they naturally process.

Say hello to your new favorite washed or naturally-processed Colombian coffee. Try them all here.