Finca Granja Paraiso 92
Valle de Cauca
Japanese Koji Fermentation
Passionfruit, raspberry jam, and white jasmine.
Cradled in the picturesque Piendamo region of Cauca Valley sits Finca Granja Paraiso 92. Internationally renowned this five-hectare gem embodies agricultural innovation powered by science, tradition and family.
Who is Wilton Benitez?: With a background in chemical engineering, Wilton spearheads the intricate art of coffee processing and experimentation. Wilton's journey to Coffee Icon began as the Quality Control manager at Supracafe Colombia. Today, Wilton holds the Q grade and Processing Professional title at Finca Granja Paraiso 92. This position sees Wilton manage the facilities and pioneer new processing methods that employ cutting-edge technology. His title reflects his advanced knowledge of coffee cultivation and processing.
Tradition and family: Wilton's brothers also play vital roles in farm management and developing and continually improving specialised machinery for their unique 'brand' of coffee. Collectively, they bring over 25 years of experience in coffee cultivation and over 15 years of dedicated research in coffee microbiology.
Japanese Koji Process: The coffee bean journey starts with a meticulous selection process, ensuring that only cherries at their peak ripeness make the cut. These cherries undergo a rigorous cleansing process, which includes UV light sterilisation and ozonated water baths, to eliminate any external bacteria and microorganisms that could adversely affect fermentation.
Inside the bioreactor, anaerobic fermentation begins! Aided by the introduction of Koji (also known as Aspergillus Oryzae), this transformative process spans approximately 72 hours at a controlled temperature of 22 degrees Celsius. The cherries are subsequently pulped, washed and cleaned thoroughly in fresh water. The beans are then placed out for a tightly controlled drying phase for 48 hours at 38 degrees Celsius.
Caturra: The Caturra coffee plants are a remarkable variant of the bourbon coffee plant. Much like bourbon coffee, Caturra beans are celebrated for their sweetness, complexity, and crispness of acidity. What sets Caturra apart is its modified stature and quicker berry maturation, resulting in a higher coffee bean yield.
The story of Caturra dates back to a Brazilian plantation between 1915 and 1918, in the state of Minas Gerais. Select plants were then sent to the Instituto Agronomico (IAC) of Sao Paulo State in 1937, where breeders marvelled at the plant's compact size, allowing for denser planting and increased fruit production during harvest.
Through meticulous selection, seeds from superior plants were collected, giving birth to a new generation of, then to be known as 'Caturra plants'. This remarkable varietal made its way to Guatemala in the 1940s and subsequently spread throughout Central America, becoming one of the most economically significant coffee varieties available to farmers.