Pronunciation Key: no-Eh kin-ay-Us
This month is a proud one for us. The Quinayas family, near and dear to our hearts for a long time now, have produced outstanding quality to the tune of taking up three of our eight slots for feature coffees. We’re pretty bloody fussy, so that’s no easy achievement.We’re ever impressed by this family. They live in very humble conditions, geographically isolated, and are unsupported by any producer group or Cooperative. After being exploited by various exporters they decided long ago to dedicate their entire production to us. Why? We pay the most, we visit all the time, we promise to buy everything they have and we support them financially throughout the whole year.
Grandpa Noe is featuring on our filter and espresso list, and we’re loving young Yamid’s varietal separation efforts: this Typica lot comes off the back of his lovely Caturra, the latter currently featuring in Candyman. We buy from the other three family members as well.
We are with them many times throughout the year, and when we’re not there Yamid is constantly in contact via whatsapp. He’s actually become pretty good at taking photos (see him with his imminent Typica harvest at the bottom of this little diatribe), and we get to track harvest progression, collaborate on timing of shipping, give them processing recommendations, and most importantly they get to tell us when they’re struggling. At several points throughout the year we give them micro-financing to see them through the lean months when there’s no coffee to sell. Because we have a Colombian bank account we can instantly transfer pesos to Yamid which he distributes to the other members of the family who don’t have bank accounts.
So who are these people? Noe, the grandfather, who we think is in his late eighties but no-one’s entirely sure, is really of another era. He rambles a little bit, but mostly retells stories from when he served in the national military in his youth under a general that would later be a formative leader of the FARC… Three of Noe’s children took over parcels of the original family farm. We buy coffee from Edilma, Miller and Avelirio. You may remember that Avelirio sadly passed away earlier this year. We will continue to buy his family’s coffee of course, his wife will now run the farm.
Yamid is Miller’s son. Yamid is young and energetic and really is the motor of the family now. It’s because of him that their processing keeps getting better. But it’s because of the heirloom trees planted by Noe many years ago that their coffee tastes so damn good.