Rodrigo Yandi FARM: EL ARRAYAN



This coffee has now sold out, which means we've reached the end of our series.

The honour of being the final producer featured in our Short Story falls to Rodrigo Yandi and his unique, remote El Arrayan farm.

Perched atop a mountain ridge, far from the nearest road, the three hectares of El Arrayan is one of the most isolated coffee farms we've ever visited, but this is where Rodrigo, his family and his small stock of farm animals have happily established their home and their way of life.

This isolation, along with the fact that the Yandi family only moved here two years ago, means that El Arrayan has virtually none of the technology or machinery that Rodrigo Figueroa - maker of the first of our Short Story coffees - enjoys at his El Recuerdo farm. This is truly low-fi coffee production then, but don't make the mistake of thinking that this makes Rodrigo Yandi's coffee in any way inferior to the other two coffees in this series.

For a start, the altitude of the farm is a bonus - at 1,900 masl, it's high enough that the coffee gets a very long ripening season, which helps lend the final coffee poise and balance. The fact that Rodrigo's farm is only small is a help too, as it means he's able to keep a close eye on every tree and cherry.

His ingenuity also plays a part in creating excellent coffee in such a remote location. For example, he doesn't have any fermenting tanks at the farm yet, as getting as getting the materials needed to build them to the farm without a road link is a big challenge. As a result, Rodrigo ferments his coffee in plastic sacks, which has the added benefit of being less water intensive than tank fermentation. The coffee is hand sorted by the family after fermentation to remove any less than perfect beans. The only part of the processing that doesn't take part at the farm is the dry milling, which is carried out at a local co-op.

For us then, what Rodrigo and his family represent in this series is a demonstration that even without modern technology, it's still possible to make excellent coffee as long as you care and love for the product. The coffee processing at El Arrayan is almost as basic as it can possibly be, and what elevates this coffee to be a coffee we wanted to feature in Short Stories is the love that Rodrigo has lavished on it.

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