Robert learned everything about coffee from his mother, Maria Gladys, and his father, José Ignacio. When he was 14, he decided to start picking coffee. Some years later, he inherited two plots, which he called “La Reforma” and “El Mirador,” each one hectare. Both farms are located in the vereda “Alto del Carmen,” in the corregimiento (or township) of Itaibe, which belongs to the municipality of Páez, Cauca, and borders the department of Huila. The farms have around 9,000 trees, including Castillo and Caturra.
Robert and his wife have two daughters; all the family members, including his siblings, work on the farm and are committed to high quality coffee production. The process they use is traditional. Pillimué’s family pulps and washes the cherries, then they ferment the coffee for 24 hours before drying it for around 20 days, depending on weather conditions. Some years ago, Robert was able to invest in raised, covered drying beds, which allow for better-controlled drying conditions.