Colombia | Augusto Ortega - Gesha

Colombia | Augusto Ortega - Gesha

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We taste: Peach, Orange blossom, Light brown sugar

Region: Kennedy, San Agustin, Huila
Varietal: Gesha
Altitude: 1680 MASL
Harvest: November-February 2022 Main Harvest 
Process: Washed

Next roast day: October 3rd

We are really honored to share the first exportable harvest of Augusto's Gesha. Gesha is an interesting variety that when at its best, can have the most lovely cup qualities filled with florals and delicate complexity. This is his 4th harvest of Gesha and the first lot to warrant separating it out as a micro-lot. It's a really clean cup, that opens up to flavors of soft peach, orange creamsicle, and light brown sugar. 

We highly recommend letting this coffee rest before brewing. We have been finding the best results 4 weeks after roast. 

About Augusto Ortega from our friends at Semilla Coffee:
Augusto Ortega’s lineage in coffee makes him and others of his generation the closest
thing to coffee royalty one can imagine. Now 58 years old, he began his life as a
coffee grower working alongside his father, who was amongst the earliest entrants in
commercial coffee growing in the region.

Augusto’s first lot within his family farm consisted of 500 trees that he took care of on
his own while selling them together with the family’s harvest. By the age of 22, Don
Augusto made the decision to set out on his own, and this was when he created the
now nearly 40-year-old Finca Asturias.

In the Kennedy township of San Agustin, coffee farming was late to take hold. When
this farm was initiated in 1985, Augusto was one of the first to plant coffee in this specific micro-region, and others who did were disappointed with their experience as the soils were quite arid which led to consistent landslides every summer when the heavy rains arrived. Nonetheless, Augusto had faith and they continued on, bearing success as they went.

As many of the producers in this region attest, in the early years, it was much easier
to be a coffee grower. In these early days, chemical fertilizers were unheard of and
coffee diseases were less prevalent than they are now. In fact, in recent years,
Augusto has struggled mightily as the temperatures have risen steadily, leading to the
necessity for multiple disease treatments a year, as well as two to three fertilizes
annually in order to reach a decent level of productivity. Sadly, quality thresholds
have continued to dip as well, potentially related to the chemical inputs but also likely
related to these warming conditions making for less ideal sugar development in the

Throughout the 80s and 90s, Augusto sold his coffee en verde which meant he
depulped the cherries and then sold them wet to local buyers. It was uncommon in
these days to sell in parchment as he does now, but it was also less necessary as the
costs of production were so much lower, but he was still able to turn a profit.
In the year 2000, he joined forces with the Los Naranjos Association as a means of
entering specialty coffee production. It was through this group that he would come to
be connected to Cafe Imports and sell his first lots of specialty-grade coffee to American buyers.

However, over recent years, members of this association have become dissatisfied
with the transparency and connection offered to them by this arrangement. Augusto,
a former President of the Association, formally took the step last year to no longer
sell to Cafe Imports as he seeks stronger, more guaranteed relationships that he can
rely on year after year. When we visited in November, we were honored to hear
him speak up in support of Semilla and our commitment to Monkaaba.
Now, he’s continued to be a leader but amongst his peers and family members with
Monkaaba. It’s in small part due to the trust he has in us that we’ve been able to
succeed in San Agustin, as he was quickly taken to encouraging all the producers
involved to work closely with us.

We’re honored to be able to support Don Augusto, a veritable legend in the history
of coffee production in San Agustin. From the main harvest of 2021/2022, we had
the pleasure of being able to buy the entire production of Augusto’s farm at a
differential price, a first for him and his wife Marlenyi. This included multiple levels of
quality from this Gesha lot to a Pink Bourbon lot and a Colombia lot used for

Augusto’s vision for the future is the following: “I hope to continue forward tackling
the challenges posed to coffee growers by planting new varieties and to be in union
with other coffee growers so we can improve ourselves through our own good advice
and counsel.”

Processing Details:

Cherries are picked every 15 days at peak ripeness.
They’re left to ferment in cherry overnight before being de-pulped the next morning
and undergoing a dry ferment for an additional 32 hours. The seeds are rinsed of
remaining mucilage and then spread to dry on raised, shaded beds for 20-22 days.

Price Breakdown:

Farm Gate Price: 2,800,000 Colombian Pesos / Carga 
FOB Price: 3.98 USD/LB
Our Price: 8.50 USD/LB