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 plot). This is how Diego started in the coffee industry: he cultivated his trees and sold his cherries to local cooperatives, 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 analyse all processing steps. Diego became a certified Level 2 Q 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 controlled 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.