Verada Los Arados, Piendamó, Cauca
-1.930 m u. NN
_Finca El Paraíso
_Indestec, Diego Samuel Bermúdez
_ Sept.-Dec. & Marz-Juni
– experimentaler Prolokoll
As he likes to say, Diego has been adopted by the coffee-growing industry Diego’s family did not grow coffee, but he has been fascinated by his friends’s farm from a very early age. As he studied Agri-Business Management, Diego convinced his family to let him plant coffee trees on a small parcel of their farm (2,5 hectare pol). This is how Diego started in the coffee industry: he cultivated his trees and sold his cherries to local cooperalives, which allowed him to pay for his studies.
In 2012, after graduating, Diego and his family funded Indestec, which now owns and operate five Fincas across Cauca and cultivate coffee trees over 70 hectares. Their goal was to develop and promote a competitive and sustainable agriculture through the development of technology solutions.
Coffee is a natural product, but much happens during its processing – from cherry to cup. To be in a position to ensure a stable quality coffee harvest over harvest, Diego and his team started to analyze all processing steps. Diego became a certified Level 2Q Processing Professional, which allows him to see and understand how pH, temperature, and microorganisms affect coffee cup profiles.
After tackling the drying process, they developed fermentation labs where they grow microorganisms, like Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc, and built fermentation
tanks. Every variable of the fermentation is controled and optimised: from the yeast they
add, to the time the cherries ferment, the temperature of the tank or of the water. One of their process includes, for instance:
– 48 hours anaerobic fermentation of cherries in tanks with relief valve at 18°C
– 96 hours anaerobic fermentation of pulped cherries (with mucilage) at 18°C
– first wash at 40°C to create a thermic shock
– second wash at 12°C
– 34 hours drying at 35°C and 25% humidity, until the beans reach 10-11% moisture
Indestec is also – and maybe foremost – a family story. The Bermudez are a very tight knit family. Diego works on the farm alongside his two brothers and his wife. His children are still going to school, but keep an eye on their Dad’s business!
DISCUSSION WITH DIEGO
Hello Diego, first thank you very much for accepting answering a few questions. Roasters in Europe are very
eager to know more about you and your innovative coffee processing.
Please tell us a bit more about yourself.
Hello. My name is Diego Samuel Bermúdez Tapia. I am 35 years old and studied Agri-Business Administro-
Together with my family, I starting growing coffee of a consistent quality that could supply the needs of the
international market. It is some sort of a drean that | have nurtured for years.
How did you get into the world of coffee?
My family and I began planting coffee trees in 2012, as we were looking for an activity that would subsidies our families.
Currently the family has 5 farms in the department of Cauca and we cultivate around 70 hectares.
Could you tell us more about your innovative process?
We started with the development of a solution to the most critical point in the production of specialty coffee, which is the drying. Then we designed and built our own fermentation bioreactors to be able to control the fermentation variables and therefore have an impact on the processing and the coffee quality. We also cultivate microorganisms (saccharomyces, lactobacillus, leuconostoc, etc.) naturally present in the fermentation for subsequent inoculation into the bioreactors. All in all, it took us three years to develop and test the protocols.
Apart from fermentation and process, where else do you invest?
We focus mainly on the development of new technologies, including software and hardware. But we have a limited capital to invest in innovation.
A big part of our work is also around our network and our competence. We work in collaboration with other farmers in different areas. Our goal is also to help them generate more opportunities. Expand and share our knowledge, to create a sustainable coffee industry.
What would you like to say to coffee roasters in Europe?
They are very welcome to our farm They should discover how an innovative and prosperous coffee growing industry with environmental, social and economic responsibility will help creating a better coffee growing industry where farmers are fairly rewarded and cup quality improved. I believe that those are critical for a roaster to attract new customers and build customer loyalty.
How do you foresee the coffee business in Colombia in the next five years?
From our point of view, we create a business model that enables all actors in the supply chain to be profitable. This profitability is not only based on quality but also on trust within all parties.