El Embrujo Wizard Caldas Natural IMPACT 35kg

The name “embrujo” comes from the Spanish word for “spell”. Ignacio believes that truly excellent specialty coffee will evoke the “magic of coffee” for drinkers. And there's few things more magical than sustainable coffee so Ignacio is the first farm producing microlots in Colombia to be IMPACT verified. 

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Coffee Grade:
Finca El Embrujo
1,450 to 1,900 meters above sea level
Igancio Rodriguez
Farm Size:
170 hectares
Bag Size:
35kg GrainPro
Harvest Months:
Year-round, depending on the region

About This Coffee

Ignacio Rodriguez’s father purchased the first 3 hectares of Finca La Palmera in 1969 . Through tireless work, he continued expanding the farm, which reached 165 hectares by the time Ignacio inherited it. Today, Ignacio applies the same spirited focus to producing specialty-quality coffees.  

The name “embrujo” comes from the Spanish word for “spell”. Ignacio believes that truly excellent specialty coffee will evoke the “magic of coffee” for drinkers. To this end, he is focused on transitioning from traditional agriculture to a more specialty focus. Ignacio is building a laboratory and microbiology lab to help him better understand the process at the biological level and ultimately improving his processing for consistency and flavor. 

La Palmera is one of the few large estates in the region where 90% of farms are under 5 hectares. This makes them one of the few year-round employers for farm workers and they take their role seriously. They have 7 rooming houses that provide comfortable, safe spaces for workers. Workers receive 3 meals a day and are paid a premium to work at La Palmera. Ignacio also employs 48 women year-round. These women, many of whom are single mothers supporting their families, ensure high-quality by sorting cherry and parchment to remove any defective beans. 

In addition to coffee, Ignacio also grows avocados and maize.  


At La Palmera, Ignacio has a large nursery that’s supplying not only high quality seedlings of high quality varieties like Geisha and Pink Bourbon, but is also growing native shade trees that will improve soil fertility and tree health. Ignacio’ is keen on experimentation and he trying high tree density for Colombia variety trees, planting them much closer to together – about 7,500 trees per hectares, compared to 2,000 trees per hectare for Geisha – and trialing 4 different Geisha varieties to see what grows the best at Finca La Palmera. Ignacio’s focus is quality, so it’s only natural that he’s steadily replacing existing Castillo with more unique and high scoring varieties.  

Igancio saves the pulp from processing his washed process coffees and applies it to coffee trees as fertilizer. His goal is to reduce chemical fertilizer use by 20-25%. One of the issues they face is generating enough organic matter to create nutrient-rich compost. While they estimate they will need about 1,500 tons of organic waste, the farm only generates about 650 tons. Ignacio is confident that as the program develops, he’ll be able to source the remaining 500 tons to create organic composts that will nourish his soil.  

The on-farm microbiology lab was originally built to test different fermentation and processing methods but Ignacio has focused it on soil application. With the lab’s research, they are inoculating compost with microorganisms that will speed up the composting process, balance carbon and nitrogen and generally increase the fertility of the compost. One ton of compost captures 5 tons of carbon emissions.  

Water from processing is used to irrigate his corn crops. The processing operation is fueled entirely by renewable energy from solar panels. Another change Ignacio is making to ensure the highest quality and most sustainable processing is transitioning to lower water-use processing as much as possible.   

Harvest & Post-Harvest

Coffee is selectively handpicked by laborers. A “patron” oversees picking to ensure only ripe, red cherry is selected. To ensure the highest quality cherry, Ignacio pays harvesters above the going rate. Once at the on-farm processing center, cherry is floated to remove underripes and then transported to moving belts where women hand sort cherry, removing any damaged cherry. Cherry is placed in crates and transported to the warehouse where they ferment for 36 to 120 hours, depending on the ambient temperature. Then, cherry is dried in mechanical dryers. Using mechanical dryers enables Ignacio to control the temperature and makes it possible for him to process coffee consistently on a larger scale. He keeps drying cherry at temperatures below 40 degrees C for about 140 hours. Once dried, coffee is placed in Grainpro bags and rested before being prepared for export.

About Caldas Region

Parts of Caldas are located in Eje Cafetero, the Colombian Coffee Growing Axis. Eje Cafetero was the first major coffee-producing region in Colombia. For many years, the region held the distinction of being the most well-known and highly sought-after Colombian coffee region. Tropical rainforest conditions, volcanic soil and a wealth of rivers and streams in Eje Cafetero make the area ideal for coffee growing.

Today, producers in Caldas are increasingly focused on high-quality coffee production. These producers have become common and well-known enough to earn an affectionate colloquial name in the region. They’re called juiciosos (literally: sensible/wise), which in this case means hard-working and attentive to detail. In addition to finding ways to perfect existing processing methods, juiciosos are experimenting with new processing methods and planting new varieties of coffee.

Coffee in Colombia

Colombia has been producing and exporting coffee renowned for their full body, bright acidity and rich aftertaste, since the early 19th century.

Colombia boasts a wide range of climates and geographic conditions that, in turn, produce their own unique flavors in coffee. This also means that harvest times can vary quite a bit. In fact, between all its different regions, Colombia produces fresh crop nearly all year round.

The increasing focus on the specialty industry is changing the way traders and farmers do business. It is becoming more common for farmers to isolate the highest quality beans in their lots to market separately. These higher-quality lots are often sold under specific brands or stories.

Besides its wide variety of cup profiles, Colombia has quickly expanded its certification options over the past 10 years. The most common certifications available are Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ and Organic.

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