“Whatever we do, we go at it one hundred percent, so that it gets done right,” explains Barner; “that’s why we only grow coffee.” He stares at his father, Luis Eduardo, and tries to hide a proud smile. Luis can be as stubborn as any other man approaching seventy, and he acknowledges with a reluctant grin that it was difficult to let Barner, his eldest son, innovate in the production methods he had used his entire life at La Finca Buenos Aires.
Luis Eduardo had had enough reasons to be wary. After all, he had been growing coffee since the year Kennedy was shot, back when he earned 5 pesos for his first day’s work. But beyond that, his business had gone from bad to worse when the coffee pact was broken in 89. He held, in his heart and his wallet, the pain of selling his land before going into bankruptcy. Over the next decade, he and his family worked other trades to get back on a stable economic footing, up until the point where he was ready to put all he knew, saved, and hoped for back into growing coffee.
His son Barner knew the stakes were high, but he was determined. They went about cutting out the majority of the Colombia Amarillo Luis had sown and replaced it with Castillo, an Arabica hybrid variety that was becoming popular with other growers but to them was at that point an unknown. With the same drive his father had taught him, Barner pushed his limits and finally proved to Luis that combining their methods and knowledge was the way to produce gold there on that little breezy farm in Salento, Quindío.