The average age of a coffee producer in Colombia is 63. This number is especially alarming when you consider the fact that in 2019, the average age was 55. This trend is due to the fact that very few young coffee producers are joining the industry in Colombia, something that needs to change in order for coffee to thrive in that area. That’s where two of Knowledge Perk’s industry partners come in: Unblended and Ventola.
UVI, or the Unblended and Ventola Institute, has a goal to make coffee an exciting career path for young people, and to equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to create exciting and fulfilling careers in agriculture. They express a purpose to “guide each coffee producer member of the program in the creation of their own coffee project – positioning their brand internationally and helping them improve their company’s profitability through the creation of differentiated products.” Their members go through different modules focused on the US market, branding and products, international experience, investing in production, and marketing and sales. One of the recent projects undertaken by UVI is the Cochadas farm, where they are developing a unique new coffee processing method.
The UVI Cochadas farm is a community lot in the Antioquia region created through the UVI program with 6 coffee farmers: Jose Vasquez, Yamile Arboleda, Daniel Rendon, Ramon Marulanda, Monica Andrea Castaño, and Juan Camilo Salazar. The benefit of a community lot is that producers with lower production capabilities can meet a certain demand through carefully monitored production and processing of the same coffees on their individual farms, which are later combined into one unified product.
With the Cochadas processing method, coffee cherries are harvested in batches and hand-sorted. As the coffee is sorted, it is placed in barrels for the fermentation process to begin. As the harvesting and sorting continues, the new coffee cherries are added to the fermentation barrels on top of the old cherries. This creates distinct layers in the coffee, with some having fermented for longer than others, resulting in a depth to the acidity. After a set period of five days, the fermentation process is complete, and the coffee goes on to be washed to remove all of the pulp and mucilage from the green coffee. The coffee is then brought together at a dry mill in Medellin, where it is dried for 3-4 weeks.
Knowledge Perk prides itself in working through direct trade with coffee producers when possible. This allows for the greatest level of transparency, as well as allows us to better tell the story of our coffee and its producers. Direct trade is also how we try to maintain sustainability in coffee production, seeking to end the cycle of increasing and decreasing prices by offering a consistent, sustainable price to producers. Through our relationship with UVI and Unblended, we have taken the Cochadas coffee and developed it into a beautiful light roast. This full-bodied coffee features tasting notes of mountain apple, floral tea, and honey. It’s a sweet, unique cup that is sure to satisfy.
You can learn more about UVI, Unblended, and Ventola by visiting www.ventola.coffee or www.unblended.coffee. You can also purchase a bag of Knowledge Perk’s UVI Cochadas coffee online at knowledgeperk.com.