The coffee story
Being a coffee grower was Álvaro’s childhood dream. Unlike his wife, he didn’t come from a farming family. Born in Tolima, his boyhood coincided with the pinnacle of the FNC (Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia), a time when Colombian coffee was thriving. “The coffee farms were the best ones. They always had light and water pipelines. Growers had status. The FNC had a bank and exported 75% of all the country’s coffee”, he recalls. Álvaro nursed this vision throughout all of his adult life. He combined his savings with Hilda’s, a systems engineer, to buy El Sauce in 2003.
Despite not having direct experience with farming at the time, Álvaro had spent years traveling the country first as an agricultural advisor and consultant and later executing projects in environmental development. El Sauce is not all about him, though. They both wished to build a profitable farm and help generate more work in the countryside. “We try to help our neighbours, all coffee farmers as well, and show them the benefits of environmental practices. We know we can’t just tell them what to do. They won’t believe us,” Hilda explains. “That is one of the reasons why we want to be successful. Then we can lead by example,” Álvaro adds.
The couple moved from San Gil, a town one hour away from the farm, six years ago when both their kids, now 27 and 29 years old, moved away for their studies. Though coffee was always Álvaro’s dream, El Sauce’s most profitable products are actually eggs! The farm has 8,000 chickens and stocks 2 local markets. “Unlike coffee, you can sell eggs all year round. It is less risky and gives us liquidity. Plus we have all the manure we need to fertilize the coffee plants,” says Álvaro. “If you think prices are unstable in coffee, you should see eggs. It’s crazy,” he laughs.
Chicken manure is one of the main fertilizers used by organic coffee farmers in Santander. In El Sauce, the droppings are mixed with coffee skins and spread around the farm. According to Álvaro, “soil in the area tends to be acid and it helps balance the pH.” Other than fertilizing and strategic pruning, there is little interference with the trees on the farm. The couple believes in “letting nature do its thing” and says altitude is better than any pesticide. Located at 1850 m above sea level and temperatures between 20C and 25C, they can rely on nature’s best barrier against pests and diseases.
This honey nano-lot is called Uva because we only use the ripest of cherries from our farm. They are not bright red, but of a winey colour, and the level of sweetness of the cherry is very high. As we don't have a big tank on the farm to help us remove floaters we use a small container. We always have two members of staff manually cleaning the coffee from green or overripe beans, a process that is timeconsuming but very precise. Each lot is made of several batches of ripe "uvas" and each batch is the result of no more than 2 days pickings. After cleaning, the batches are taken to a closed barrel to rest and depulped after 48 hours. As the depulping process always happens around 5 pm we leave the coffee fermenting in mucilage inside a tank until the next day at 7 am. In the morning, we lay the beans thinly on modules lined with a mesh fabric. These modules are mobile, so we can either put them inside marquesinas or expose them on the sun to dry. If the weather is good this lot takes 5 days to dry under the sun.
0m - 1850m
December, 2020 - December, 2020
Coffee Quality Evaluation
Cupped: January, 2021
Cupped: January, 2021
|Key flavor notes||
AlgranoSpice, Cranberry, Stone fruit, Coconut, Blackthorn, Toffee
AlgranoInteresting cup profile with hints of coconut and some spice, fruity and well balanced with medium citric acidity.
When my husband Alvaro was little he lived in Tolima. Life was tough, but the coffee farms were always good places to live in and work. They had water, sanitary sewers and light. Farmers had status. This had such an impact on Alvaro on his childhood that he decided that one day he would be a coffee farmer too. Granja El Sauce is a dream come true for him and also for me. Alvaro grew up to be an agronomist and I worked as a systems engineer. We lived in San Gil for most of our adult life but wanted to move to the countryside to be close to nature. We run El Sauce as a fully organic farm and have been certified for years, even at times when the premiums were not that good. We believe it is important to take good care of our surroundings and adopt an ecological and sustainable approach. Recently we have been changing our post-harvest processing protocols to improve the cup quality of our coffees. We try to help our neighbours, all coffee farmers, towards a more ethical style of farming.
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Once the ordering period ends we will consolidate all coffees in a shared container. During transport, your coffee is fully insured. We will keep you informed about the shipment status.
Upon arrival of the coffee at the warehouse, you can choose between 2 delivery modes:
- Doorstep delivery: We will take care of transport to your roastery. We will provide your coffee fully insured until it is ready for unloading from the truck at your roastery.
- EXW (ex. warehouse) means that we will provide the coffee ready for pick-up at the terminal of the warehouse. You are responsible for organising transport and insurance from the warehouse to your roastery.
Currently, we can deliver coffee anywhere in Europe, except Hungary. For all European buyers, the coffee will be provided custom cleared in any case. Roasters in Switzerland choosing EXW will be responsible for customs clearance.
When calculating price, you can select your preferred currency: USD, CHF, EUR, or GBP.
2 payment methods are accepted on Algrano:
1. Buy now, pay later
Pay your coffee after its delivered in Europe. This option generates an additional fee, displayed in the shopping cart.
3. Pay 10 days after placing the order
We will send you a 10 day invoice straight after you placed your order.