On March 8, International Women’s Day, Devoción Coffee will release La Mandarina, a limited-edition coffee created in collaboration with Colombian coffee producer and entrepreneur Martha Obando. This release is part of their ongoing ‘Women in Coffee’ series, which highlights independent female farmers throughout Colombia in order to highlight exceptional coffees produced by women in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
To gain a better understanding of the coffee and region, we spoke with Obando about how the limited edition La Mandarina coffee collaboration brings a piece of her coffee farm to the United States and why people should visit the Guavio region’s natural beauty.
You are an entrepreneur, a coffee producer, and the ASOFINCAS association’s president. Could you tell me about your various projects and the role coffee plays in your life?
Coffee has permeated every aspect of my life for me. I’ve been surrounded by coffee culture since I was a small child. This piqued my interest in learning more about it, from seed to harvest to post-harvest processes, and most recently about the commercial aspect. Learning about the post-harvest business of coffee has aided me in my personal projects as well as in my community work with the association (ASOFINCAS) to assist others in obtaining a more equitable price for their product and in learning more about what happens to their coffee post-harvest in our community and throughout the country.
I began working with Devoción four to five years ago. It began with my curiosity about what happens to my coffee after it is harvested. I met Devoción when they visited the region I live in and from then on we began not only a business partnership, but a friendship as well, where I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about post-harvest processes and the added value that coffee has. This has enabled me to gain a better understanding of coffee in my region and to see what we can accomplish with coffee grown in this region, including my own. We can now sell our product in various parts of the world thanks to Devoción. Devoción has been a great ally not only on a personal level but also to the association through the work we’ve done together becoming a benchmark in our region regarding price and differentiation as a result of the coffee quality we can find here.