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Who you are?

My name is Felix Octavio Corrales Villegas. I was borned in Chinchina Caldas. I consider myself as entrepreneur that has succeeded and failed in different fields and business but there is something very much connected to my heart and family roots that is hard not to talk about and is the coffee region and all that entails to me.  I have almost 50 years of experience growing and producing coffee. The first thing in the morning and I can think about is a hot cup of coffee before breakfast.

Where the idea about growing coffee came from?

More than an idea, the coffee production has always been part of my life. As far as I remember, my grandfathers’ father (Antonio Corrales) was the owner of a farm dedicated to coffee production between Chinchina and Palestina, Caldas since the mid of 19th century. As the coffee production growth in Colombia and became the most relevant agricultural product for Colombia and the most important in the coffee region, my father (Octavio Corrales) get involved on coffee trading activities at Chinchina and he taught me about the opportunities around this business.

I started to look for the right land to become a grower, not far from Chinchina but also with access roads and finally by May 14th 1974 I had the opportunity to buy a farm that was not producing anything, and I decided to start growing coffee there. This farm was located within El Alto de La Paloma, a known landmark associated to a high and steep mountain not far from Palestina, Caldas.

What is the more rewarding part of growing coffee?

The ups and downs around coffee business in the past 40 years have put us as coffee growers into difficult moments making many of us to quit. However, I believe that my love for this region and the coffee always drive my energy to keep pushing about finding the means to not giving up. As a grower, producing and selling green coffee is hard. You need to prepare you finances for the entire year so then to secure that during the harvest season you will be able to make ends meets. Currently we have a harvest season that last 2-4 months starting at the end of August and that normally finished by November.

I feel very proud of the region when I heard that production targets were reached, and you can notice it by the people in small towns streets who celebrates during the weekends and for sure many of them will bring hope to their families. The year is long and tough and despite harvest season is full of challenges it is also the time you feel a sense of accomplishment. You know that not only growers benefit from it but the entire town.

When Cosecha Corrales was borned?

It is not easy and sometimes not possible to differentiate where coffee is coming from when you drink it. Before been roasted and packed, green coffee tends to be mixed with product from different growers, regions, qualities. The next generation of the family, the new blood (my daughters) wanted to try to take this business to a new level. They always talked to me about adding more value by roasting the coffee and selling it. I know we were doing a good work on the farm, following instructions from the technical experts about how to secure a good quality as well as manage a reasonable production cost, and why not give it a try.

So then, we roasted and tasted our own coffee, and it was a revelation, it was magical. The quality, the taste and aroma turned to be pretty good, so Cosecha Corrales had an opportunity and we wanted to seize it. My daughter started to sell it through family and friends, obtained the sanitary authorization to commercialize it and despite we produce small batches our customers keep asking for more. We are currently selling green coffee to the cooperative of coffee growers and selling roasted coffee to our clients.

 

What makes this coffee so special?

Cosecha Corrales was born at the heart of the magnificent coffee region (UNESCO World Heritage Site) where our family-owned farm, La Paloma, is located. The landscape and soil not far from Nevado del Ruiz volcan (about 50 kms from the farm) have evolved over centuries to become a highly productive and rich soil, that combined with a warm weather creates unparallel conditions for the best coffee to grow surrounded by diverse fruits.

Through a rigorous production process supported by Best Agricultural Practices, the coffee crop has been running pesticides free for over 5 years, that combined with a careful selection process, where only the best grains are picked by experienced hands, Cosecha Corrales meet the needs of the increasingly demanding customer that wants to experience a remarkable product balanced with a clean production and reasonable use of natural resources.

The right roasting level (Medium) enhances clear notes of honey and citrus as well as the unique aroma of this magic land. Our single origin coffee guarantees a high-quality taste offering consumers a sublime cup of coffee. Cosecha Corrales is the nicest flavor the morning coffee aims and the almost perfect taste any coffee break deserves.

 

 

By CONSTANZA JIMENEZ

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