The Producers

#1 - Alejandro Martinez (January - July)

We believe that a farmer’s energy somehow makes it to his beans and travels all the way to the cup that you drink. That is why here at Horizonte it is essential that we meet the farmers who we trade with. And if this energy thing is true, Alejandro Martinez’ fiery personality contributes to making our Leal so special (and well, strong!).

He was born in Anserma, in the Caldas region of Colombia, son of a coffee grower. His father, Esain Martinez bought their farm in 1974 and passed it on to Alejandro. It truly is a family affair: while his sons work the land, Alejandro’s daughter Luz Angela represent them at Coperativa de Caficultores and has been entering high quality coffee competitions. Luz has already won such contests once, while Alejandro has two awards for their beans.

You might notice Alejandro’s beans are slightly bigger than the rest of our Anserma farmers. That’s Alejandro’s signature, as a result of the addition of nitrogen to the soil. A study done in his farm indicated the need to enrich the soil for better crops, so nitrogen became their thing. Another special characteristic of these beans is the anaerobic (oxygen-free) fermentation process. It is a new post harvesting method where the coffee is processed in a fully sealed and oxygen deprived fermentation tank. This controlled process basically allows different micro-organisms to act in the water/sugar combination. The result is a very unique flavor that is often not found in the regular fermentation process.

#2 - Jonny Melo (August - December)

If you haven’t yet experienced Colombian hospitality, you will be surprised to know that what was meant as a business visit to the Melo family farm turned into a big family lunch with us “gringos” trying their local delicacies.

Here at Horizonte it’s extremely important that we get to know the farmers in person. Knowing their history, their farm and understanding the way they cultivate coffee inspires us to roast beans in a respectful way that is adequate to the journey of each bean, from the soil to the cup. And we love South American hospitality!

Jonny Melo is one of the sons of Nelson Melo, born in Samaniego, Colombia. Nelson moved to the Caldas region, 900km away from his origin, to escape the constant threats of armed conflicts in that region. With his wife Maria Bercelia Ortega, he bought Hacienda Bellavista. Jonny has always helped his father with the farm. Some years ago, Nelson rewarded him with a piece of land where he could grow his own beans. That, we must say, is a great honor for a young coffee grower. Jonny took this opportunity with commitment and enthusiasm and in his short time as an individual coffee grower, has received two awards.