The story of Finca El Hato goes right back to 1938 and the original owner Enrique Topke – in fact his descendants still manage the estate. Fast-forward to the last decade and El Hato has had a bit of a bumpy ride; they rebuilt the nearby abandoned school, providing education to over 400 students, but also faced hardships from Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR), losing over 60% of their production. Keeping positive they planted over 200,000 new trees of different varieties resistant to CLR. Take this rich history, throw in specialised farming practices and skilled processing and your get a delicious cup of buttery milk chocolate, balanced with glacé cherry and mellow lemon acidity.
Icatu, Castillo & Bourbon
Christian and his family have been working to support the local community with the complete overhaul of an abandoned public school. Located on a neighbouring lot which the family purchased, the dilapidated building was brought back to life over 6 months and proudly re-opened back to the public for local children.
The rebuilt school has been functioning as a public school for over ten years now and educates over 400 children from the age of 5 to 18. It offers morning, afternoon and evening classes to maximize the use of the building and accommodate everyone’s schedule. Most of the students are children of coffee workers or pickers at the farm, however the school also welcomes any other children in the area. After such great success - El Hato are onto building two more!
In 2018 El Hato suffered immensely from Roya (Coffee Leaf Rust) - loosing over 60% of its production. Christian tells us how sad it was to see this attack of the disease and the ensuring loss. But as with many difficult situations, new possibilities emerged and the team at El Hato were quick to jump on them. Since this initial setback, Christian has planted over 200,000 new trees of different varieties resistant to Roya and adopted a range of new methods, including organic composting, to keep the plants of El Hato well fed and healthy.