The coffee story
When Joel M. Villalta, the manager of the Forestal farms, first started working with farmer Francisco Serrano he knew little about coffee. It was 10 years ago and he had just left university with a degree in Agribusiness Management. Today he is the company’s project director, overseeing the operations of four (soon to be five) farms: Santa María and La Esmeralda in Zapatoca and San Sebastián and Los Pinos in Aratoca. He is also involved in Serrano’s roastery, helping the team with the roast profiles on a 12kg Diedrich.
Francisco Serrano made a career in business decades ago in the cattle and poultry farming. It was later on that he decided to go into coffee following his father Marco’s steps. Today, however, he works in the background, trusting Joel and his team to look after the coffee. The combined operations of growing and roasting are named Forestal, Café Artesanal (Artisan Coffee).
Forestal’s farms have been fully organic since 2005 and the plots are laid as groves where coffee trees are shaded by both native and introduced timber species such as the galapo, the guamo, and the nogal cafetero. These trees are the department’s favourites. They grow tall, as high as 20 m, and have small leaves that help filter the intense sunlight without blocking it.
Joel started experimenting with different varietals and processing around 4 years ago. He sowed seeds of Gesha, Pink Bourbon, Tabi, Pache, Pacamara and even SL-28, creating a varietal garden. The farms also have great results with more traditional varietals such as Castillo. The extra sweetness in these coffees comes from a double fermentation process in cherry and later in pulp before washing and strictly controlled drying conditions in different stages: pre-drying, followed by 36 hours at 40°C in a silo and finishing up on raised beds depending on the coffee.
Technology and high standards are not the only highlights of Forestal. To reward his staff, Francisco Serrano implemented a co-operative model on his farms. All his permanent members of staff, just under 20 workers, receive a percentage of the company’s profits at the end of the year. “It is a social model of business in which one-third of the revenue is shared between us,” explains Joel.
This will be the second time Joel sends coffee to the European market. With coffee shops in two cities and wholesale clients from Bucaramanga to Bogotá and the United States, all their specialty-grade was roasted in Colombia. Joel welcomes visitors and, having travelled abroad a few times, wonders why more foreign roasters won’t go to origin when farmers are doing so at much less favourable exchange rates.
We selected only ripe cherries from a Castillo lot, which went through a double fermentation process: first in cherry and later in mucilage. The cherries are left to rest inside mesh bags for one day, depulped and fermented up to 3 days in a tank without water. The coffee is then moved to raised beds in a marquesina dedicated to micro-lots, where we control the temperature and levels of moisture in the air. Air humidity can be deadly to good coffees. Whenever we notice dangerous levels we open the marquesina to improve circulation. It takes around 8 days to complete de drying process depending on the climate, but the intense sun radiation we get in Santander is perfect for natural drying!
December, 2020 - December, 2020
Coffee Quality Evaluation
Cupped: January, 2021
Cupped: January, 2021
|Key flavor notes||
AlgranoRed grape, Apple, Stone fruit, Floral, Spice, Greenish
AlgranoComplex, intense round body and medium malic acidity. At its best when hot but with interesting development of flavours with temperature drop- from lactic, through greenish and spice, to red grape, stone fruit and some florals towards the end. Lingering aftertaste, juicy and sweet as a whole.
Forestal is a group of 4 farms (San Sebastián, Los Pinos, Santa María and La Esmeralda) and a roasting business owned by Francisco Serrano in Santander, a Northern department of Colombia in the Andes mountains. Our organic farms are inspired by coffee’s original ecosystem with dense tree coverage and preservation of biodiversity. We preserve natural woodland areas to protect wildlife, acting as a home to hundreds of endemic and migratory birds of the region. All of our coffees are manually picked by capable workers in a way that ensures they have constant employment throughout the whole season. We also enrol our permanent members of staff in a membership scheme, paying them bonuses every end of the year, and support smaller producers from our region on achieving sustainable development. We grow, roast and brew many different varietals of coffee, from the traditional Castillo to Pink Bourbon and La Esmeralda is a dedicated Gesha farm. Message us here and speak to me, Joel, the manager!
Relationships with Roasters in
Norway and Slovakia
Average orders per roaster
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.