Max Salazar, his 2 cousins and his uncle Danilo run 2 farms for the 3rd generation, San Cristobal (10ha) and La Isabella (13ha). The farms are named after Max’s parents. Initially, the farm was mainly planted with Typica and Villa Sarchi and was smaller. They have bought more land and have planted Villalobos, Catuai, Caturra, Geisha, Ethiopian varieties, Millennium and SL28. They are replanting/renovating parts of the farms every year.
The way the farm is structured offers a huge diversity of micro climates and requires a micro- management to adapt the production to every slope and every micro climate. The wind is very strong in the area and they had to find solutions to decrease its impact on the coffee plants.
Before this year, Max and his family used to deliver all their cherries to a neighbour mil. This year they decided to process part of their harvest themselves. They installed a little mill and a greenhouse. Space is still challenging so they continue delivering some of their harvest to the neighbour mill. The processing plant, as well as the lowest part of the farm, is located at 1,680 masl. During the harvest, 30 pickers are coming to help them out.
The honeys and semi-washed lots are resting in bags for a few hours first and then transferred to African beds. Yellow honeys are moved every hour and less regularly for darker honeys. It takes 12 days to dry the honey lots. They also produce a few natural lots.
The process of this available lot is a bit specific as they used the juice got from fermenting another lot (natural) to marinate this Black Honey that then went directly to African beds for drying (with the added juice)
Max is really involved in the Specialty/Barista scene in San Jose and he has many ideas to develop processes and quality at the mill.