Mr. Pablo Guerrero was the first to introduce coffee to the Tangua area outside of the city of Pasto in the year 2000. Hacienda El Obraje has been in Pablo’s family for many years and originally produced wheat and other grains. When Pablo first began planting coffee in 2000, he grew traditional, conventional coffee and did not have a mill. By 2009, he had built a facility to process his own coffee and entered into the specialty coffee market. His experiments continued; he planted new varieties and processed Natural as well as Washed coffees. Planting coffee was initially risky because he was unsure how productive coffee would be at such a high elevation, but the coffee trees flourished and now others are following in his footsteps.
The climate and terrain of Obraje are major contributing factors to its coffee’s unique cup profile. Temperatures vary greatly in a day, from 32 degrees Celsius at noon to 8 degrees or less at night. Obraje is located near many volcanic mountains and the rocky soil is filled with minerals. The hundred-hectare Hacienda El Obraje is a truly stunning property in the mountains of the Nariño department, with coffee planted on the slopes descending to a river valley. El Obraje’s wet mill on the property is extremely tidy and includes tile fermentation tanks, depulping equipment, mechanical oven dryers, and raised drying beds under a solar dryer. Coffee processing begins as soon as the cherries are harvested.
All processing times vary according to the variables of climate at the time of harvest. Normally, cherries are fermented for 20 hours in cherry in the same bags pickers use. Cherries are selectively harvested for ripeness and also sorted by floatation. After depulping, coffee is dry fermented for another 24 hours and then fully washed, concluding with a second floatation sort.
Washed coffee typically dries for an average of 16 days on raised beds or four days in the mechanical parchment combustion dryer, where it receives a hot air flow of 30 degrees Celsius.