We were first introduced to William Martinez and his amazing coffee 3 years ago. It was the first year that William decided to pursue the avenue of specialty coffee. This can often be a risky undertaking by any coffee grower. Instead of focusing on growing as much coffee as they can, and then being paid a commodity price for the effort, they shift to harvesting and processing for quality. This decision will dramatically reduce the yield, or amount of coffee, that the farm will produce in the first few years. However, in the long term, significantly higher prices can be realized for the grower. That first year William and his family produced just 3 bags of coffee and chose to make 2 available for purchase, and send the other bag to a competition. We were struck by the incredible sweetness of the coffee and purchased the 2 available bags. That first year the coffee had a few interesting flavor notes, most likely stemming from the limited resources available for the on-site processing of the green coffee. Share not only paid the market price dictated by the cupping scores for the coffee but also paid a $1 per pound premium so William could continue to make updates to his farm to further increase quality. The next season the coffee was sweeter, more balanced, and exibited much more flavor clarity. And production was way up, Finca Las Gradas produced 6 bags! We continued to pay an additional $1 per pound to reinvest in infrastructure and could not wait for the next harvest. This years coffee is the best yet. It is very uniformly processed, allowing us to roast consistently delicious small batches of coffee. We absolutly love this coffee! We applaud all of the hard work, persistence, and care William and his family put into this coffee and look forward to being a part of their coffee odyssey for years to come.
From Juan Carlos Arango, our friend who introduced us to Mr. William Martinez:
Growing up in the countryside, William worked at several coffee plantations. With the support of his father, he started planting his own coffee 15 years ago. Now he calls Las Gradas home along with his wife and two daughters. William has plenty of ambition and there are many upgrades he would like to make to his farm, starting with the addition of a wet mill. He currently uses one at a neighboring farm. The ability to earn a better price for his coffee has him hopeful that he can provide for his family and improve his farm as well.