Diego Llach is a 4th generation coffee producer. He manages Wild Forest Coffee, a company that focuses on producing unique high quality coffee through the strictest social and ecological practices. Awarded by the Rainforest Alliance as a sustainable standard setter, for his efforts in promoting this responsable way of farming in his country and abroad. His key focus is innovation; creating new coffee varieties, unique farm management strategies and processing methods. All in the effort to create better tasting coffee while protecting de fertility and biodiversity of the land.
A canopy of coffee trees draped over the front yard of Faysel Yonis’s boyhood home. Each day the rich traditions of Ethiopian coffee culture sprang to life as his mother performed the cherished coffee ceremony. The aroma of these precious memories still envelops Faysel’s senses as he shares why supporting small Ethiopian coffee farms is so important to him.
Today, Faysel represents a group of family-owned coffee farms through Testi Trading Company. Most of the farms are less than 4 acres and are woven throughout land where cattle graze. These industrious families skillfully tend the fertile ground to create some of the world’s highest quality coffee beans.
In addition to providing a marketplace for these artisan coffee growers to sell their beans, Faysel also runs several local washing stations. These coffee processing facilities transform the beans into a variety of stunning washed and natural lots.
But Testi Trading serves it’s community in more ways than boosting the local economy. The company started an initiative which directly provides resources to the farmers and their families who grow the coffee we love and enjoy. In July 2016, they even built an elementary school for the children of Guji.
Faysel says, “Testi Trading will continue to empower the farming community. We want to lead the way and motivate the coffee industry to do the same.”
Women owned, part of the AIDA BATLLE SELECTION program coffee.
A fourth-generation grower manages the three farms that fall under K-FE and with her son Jaime Quiros who is responsible for the commercialization. This operation is inspired by the vision and legacy left by her great -grand parent, James Hill a coffee industry leader producer and exporter who migrated from Manchester, England to El Salvador adopting El Salvador as his own. James Hill is to this day still considered a pioneer in bringing the Bourbon Arabica variety to El Salvador.
Rafael Silva had no intention of getting into the family business. He dreamed of a steady corporate career instead of diving into the ever-changing, often volatile, coffee market. So, he eschewed his parents’ coffee farm and went to business school in the U.S. But as he embraced city life and achieved success in the 9-5, that stable career started to feel a little stale.
“For me, whenever you stop learning, you stop being interested and the job becomes boring. But in coffee, that does not happen. Coffee is such a dynamic industry; you have to constantly learn and adapt,” Rafael says.
Rafael’s days are never boring now. As a 6th generation coffee farmer, he uses his business acumen to run the farm. But he doesn't stop there, he ensures the highest quality standards by operating his own process mill, too. Now Rafael’s continually faced with new challenges. And he wouldn’t change a thing.
AIDA BATLLE SELECTION
This was one of the most important factors taken in consideration to establish his trade of the Arabiga coffee. This area is also known as the Golden Belt, above Lago de Coatepeque which makes for spectacular views. Located in Santa Ana, Apaneca- Ilamatepec Mountain range, an area meticulously chosen by our ancestor for its volcanic and fertile land as well for its diverse micro climates.
Traipsing through the forests perched atop Santa Ana’s volcano (Ilamatepec), El Salvador’s highest volcano, you’ll find Epe Alvares. He’s tending the coffee plants that thrive in the soil of this active natural wonder. The cracks forged by lava streams serve as pathways for good drainage while the volcanic ash creates the rich minerals and loamy soil that coffee plants crave. These factors contribute to some of the most flavorful and high-quality coffee beans on the planet.
But as you might suspect, a farm on a volcano doesn’t come without risks. Ash buildup can make the coffee leaves and stems too heavy, and rain can interact with the ash causing detrimental acid showers. Everything must be expertly tended to ensure the perfect crop. Thankfully, Epe and his family have honed their skills on their farm, Malacara, for more than 130 years.
But Epe isn’t just focused on creating great coffee. He’s incredibly invested in the lives of his employees, too. The first order of business when Finca Malacara won second place in the Cup of Excellence competition? Using the funds to repair the leaky roofs of his employees’ homes.