About this coffee
Miller Walles wasn’t always a coffee farmer. It wasn’t until he purchased a farm in the municipality of Paicol, Huila, 15 years ago, that he finally decided to leave sugar cane behind and pursue coffee. According to him, the switch to coffee was a life-changing move, as it proved capable of supporting his family in a way that sugar cane could not.
Miller started his farm from scratch with the help of his wife, Dadny Salinas, and his oldest son, Ricardo. The land was absolutely wild and unfertile. Miller decided to keep part of his land as a protected forest so as not to disturb the incredible biodiversity.
During the “cold times” — as he calls the period between crops — he works together with his family to prepare his farm for the upcoming harvest. Relying partially on his family and partially on migrant pickers for labour, he strives to harvest the ripest cherry possible, paying his workers approximately 1,000 pesos more per arroba (12.5 kilograms or 25 lbs. of cherry) than the going rate (COP 5,000-6,000)
After weighing out the cherries, Miller immerses them in cool water, skimming away the underripe fruits that floats to the surface. Then, since this coffee has been processed with the honey method, there is no de-pulping, just a prolonged drying stage with all or most of the mucilage still intact.
He believes that this dedication to the process, as well as the soil and unique climate of Paicol, is what makes his coffee special. Miller has learned about coffee production and farm management from various professional agronomists from local institutions like the SENA (The National Training Service) as well as by attending workshops brought to his area by the United Nations, and by the association of coffee producers of Paicol, which he belongs to along with 150 other members.
Miller is tall, quiet and soft-spoken. We are grateful for him and his family and for their continued hard work and dedication to producing excellent, specialty coffee.
The processing method of these cherries is quite unique: Producer Miller Walles Cruz puts the harvested cherries in pro grain bags (thick green plastic bags) and lets them sit for 36 hours.
Stay tuned and test this Lot against the Caturra Lot #1 we were able to buy from Miller! The same Caturra variety processed in two very similar but also different ways! Taste the delicate difference.