La Independencia

  • Country
  • State
  • Municipality
  • Town
    Agua Blanca
  • Elevation
    1,950m above sea level
  • Variety
  • Processing
  • Farm Size
    9 Hectares
  • Farm Owner
    Jose Domingo Pechené
  • Relationship Length
    Since 2023

Rock melon, sugarcane and lemonade, with crisp stone fruit acidity and a sparkling body. Bright and juicy.

This coffee was produced by Jose Domingo Pechené on his small farm, La Indepencia, located near the town of Agua Blanca, in the municipality of Inzá in the state of Cauca, Colombia.

At nine hectares in size, La Independencia (which translates to ‘the independence’ in Spanish) is a relatively large farm for the region. It’s located at 1,950m above sea level, in the steep, rugged hills that surround Agua Blanca and overlooking the valley surrounding the Paez river. The property has access to an impressive waterfall  providing Jose Domingo with abundant freshwater for the processing of his coffee. Jose Domingo, who lives at La Independecia with his wife Luz Amanda and their four children, has been farming coffee for seventeen years, and grows sugar cane and raises fish to supplement the family’s income.

La Independencia is mainly planted with Colombia, a hybrid variety introduced by Colombia’s Coffee Federation (FNC) in the 1980s as part of the country’s efforts to reduce the incidence of coffee leaf rust without affecting cup quality. Jose Domingo farms his coffee with traditional techniques and most of the labour is provided by him and his family. Fertilisation occurs around three times a year, usually after manual weeding, and pesticides are rarely used.

Like most of the nearby towns, Agua Blanca has breathtaking views of Colombia’s highest volcano, Nevado del Huila, which sits at the point where the states of Huila, Tolima and Cauca meet. The rich, volcanic soil of the area makes it ideal for agriculture and contributes to the excellent cup quality of coffees grown and processed here. Cool overnight temperatures result in dense beans, which are notable for their sweetness and complexity. Lower temperatures and high rainfall also influence processing techniques, with longer ferment and drying times being necessary.


The municipality of Inzá is located in the corner Cauca state, bordering with Tolima and Huila and looking out to the west over the Pacific Ocean. This region has excellent conditions for growing high-quality coffee, with high elevations and rich volcanic soil. The plateau has a very stable climate year-round thanks to its proximity to the equator and the surrounding mountains, which protect the coffee against the humidity of the Pacific and the trade winds from the south. This region is an important source of water and wildlife for Colombia, in addition to being prime coffee-growing land.

Inzá is the traditional home of the Nasa (or Páez) people, one of Colombia’s largest indigenous groups. During the Spanish invasion of Colombia, many of the Nasa were able to avoid bloodshed by escaping to the rugged hills and high plateaus of the Andes Mountains, where the Spaniards were unable to pursue them. Today, the Nasa economy relies on agriculture, and society is organised into tight knit farming communities who distribute duties equitably under the guidance of cabildos, or locally elected councils. Like many indigenous groups across Latin America, the Nasa have spent decades lobbying for the return of their land rights, finding success in recent years. Their struggle has led to legal recognition of the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples, including recognition of the autonomy of their communal indigenous lands in the 1991 Colombian Constitution.


Coffee from Cauca has historically been very difficult to access due to the region’s isolation and instability. For many years this part of Colombia was under the control of Colombia’s notorious rebel group, the FARC, and as a result, it was unsafe and violent. Since 2012, safe access to this region has been possible as a result of peace talks between the national government and the rebels. Thanks to these efforts, more and more stunning coffees from small producers in the region have become accessible to international buyers.

Our export partners for this coffee, Pergamino, have worked hard commercialise specialty-grade coffee throughout Cauca, and are now able to source some outstanding coffees from very dedicated producers. They work closely with the producers to give them feedback on their coffees (provided by Pergamino’s expert team of cuppers) and provide top up payments when the coffee is sold at a higher premium.

Head here to learn more about the work of Pergamino.



The coffee in this lot was selectively hand-harvested, with most labour being provided by Jose Domingo and his family. It was processed using the washed method at the farm’s ‘micro-beneficio’ (mill).

The coffee was pulped using a small manual or electric pulper and then placed into a fermentation tank, where it was fermented without water for around 36 hours (depending on the weather and the farm’s location) and then washed using clean water from nearby rivers and streams.


The coffee was then carefully dried (over 10–18 days) on concrete patio. Rakes are used to turn the coffee regularly during the drying stage, to ensure even drying. Once dry, the parchment was delivered to Pergamino’s warehouse in Medellín, where it was cupped and graded. Once approved, coffee rested in parchment until it was ready for export.