A story about determination, experimentation and innovation
I moved to Australia in 2008 after my family had fallen upon hard financial times. They had all but replaced coffee for sugarcane as it was no longer financially viable to be exclusively coffee farmers. In Sydney I studied English by day and cleaned office buildings at night; covering my living and school expenses and sending the rest home to help my family.
One morning before English class I walked into a beautiful little coffee shop and ordered a flat white. In Colombia I could have purchased more than a kilo of green beans for the price I paid for that single cup of coffee. But it wasn’t just any cup of coffee, it was specialty coffee from Colombian and the line up for it was out the door.
By 2009 my brother Diego and cousins Edisson and Juancho were all living in Australia working for the same cleaning company working tirelessly to purchase the farm from our Grandfather. Meanwhile in Colombia, my sister Normal, her husband Gabriel and my parents were preparing the land and germinating thousands of coffee trees for what became our new specialty coffee plantation at La Palma.
Our foundation was incredible. We grew up with grandparents bestowing their coffee farming knowledge and wisdom upon us. We experienced the third wave outside of Colombia tasting specialty coffees from all over the world prepared in weird and wonderful ways. And what's more, we had the opportunity to learn from specialty coffee roasters - industry masters who became our mentors and friends.