Las Cruces is the wet mill in Santa Ana, owned and operated by the Salaverria family. It’s a group of family members known as the Jasal Group. They are both farmers and exporters of their own coffee. They have many different farms in Santa Ana in different altitudes with different varieties. We are permanently buying coffees from several of the farms annually, but are also replacing some, and adding on new farms from them every year. We designed a process with them for our coffees some years ago that involves soaking after the mucilage is mechanically removed. We do buy many other processes from them as well, but that still counts for the majority of our Las Cruces selection. We are also pre-contracting volumes with them on three years bases, so they can budget and finance production and innovation, and we are at the same time securing our supply.
The brothers Andres and Jose Antonio took over the operations from their father some years ago. Jose Antonio manages the fields and the agronomical part, and Andres is managing the different processes at the mill. It’s always inspiring to spend time with them at the farms and the mill, and always a lot to learn. They have so many interesting projects right now that e.g. involves replanting old blocks in the highest altitudes, experimenting with new cultivars and pruning techniques etc. As we have worked with them for so long I feel they give great priority. If there are new farms I want to buy from we can plan ahead of the season what farms we should do with different processing. Every year they try to develop new products, they are investing in shade drying, and are reconstructing their mill to meet our requests. We have also cooperated on planting new cultivars, like SL 28 from Kenya among others where we have the priority. We did a blind cupping with them now with cultivars from their experimental plots. There is Geishas, Ethiopians, different bourbons, Kenyans and many other new and old cultivars. The Kenyan SL28 was definitely the standout.