Driving the narrow mountain road up the impossibly steep switchbacks to Finca La Colmenita, or “The Beehive”, the views are striking. There’s a reason this area is called Buena Vista. Far below, the deep valleys of San Pedro Necta stretch out and verdant ridges cast shadows from above. La Colmenita is nearly at the top, a high 1850 to 2000 MASL farm. It’s in the clouds a lot of the time. Our own family farm, Finca Vista Hermosa sits just beneath in the same valley.
When Francisco Cardona Martin bought La Colmenita in 2002, he had a vision: To produce the best quality coffees possible, by planting varieties known for excellence in separation, and investing heavily in innovative farming techniques. Primarily, Francisco cultivates Caturra and Bourbon plants beneath chalum, gravilea, and mature pine trees. Francisco is incredibly resourceful, investing nearly all profits from coffee sold back into the farm. He’s beloved in the local community, a kind and cheerful presence. Those who know him well call him “Chico Cardona”. When in Huehue City, he often attends cuppings with the QC team to develop his skills and to learn how he can improve.
Francisco called his farm “The Beehive” because he loves his bees. Happily buzzing about the farm pollinating his coffees plants, bees make the honey which provides a secondary income for the farm. We picked up a few barrels of which we picked up with our Coffee Blossom Honey program this year, and it’s a delightful honey: Rich and silky, with bright florals and citrus.