UnCommon Coffee
UnCommon Coffee

Luis Anibal Calderon, Colombia

For regular followers of our coffee program, Luis Anibal Calderon is a household name in our UnCommon series. Each year, we feature a different coffee from his farm, showcasing his continual innovation and the diverse flavours specialty coffee has to offer. His willingness to plant new varietals and experiment with processing methods has yielded great rewards, reinforcing Colombia’s leading role in this rapidly evolving wave of specialty coffee.

Luis’s coffee journey began at the young age of nine when he inherited 100 coffee trees from his father, marking his entry as a third-generation coffee grower. He spent his early years learning to harvest and care for the trees and worked as a seasonal picker on several farms around his hometown in Huila. With over 40 years of experience, Luis has developed a deep intuition and understanding of the land.

In 2005, Luis and his wife, Mercedes, bought Finca Villa Betulia, a 20-hectare farm in Acevedo, the same town they live in. Initially producing commodity-grade coffee alongside other agricultural products, the early days saw little profit. Today, Finca Villa Betulia is internationally renowned, boasting over 20 exotic coffee varietals and various processing methods, from bright washed coffees to funky naturals. Luis’s coffees have graced coffee competition stages, most recently when New Zealand competitor Honoka Kawashima presented the Maragesha varietal from Finca Villa Betulia to place fourth in the World Barista Championships 2024 in Seoul.

This lot features the best of Luis’s definitive work, an exotic variety with carefully considered processing. The variety is Yirgacheffe, an Ethiopian heirloom, known for its floral and layered fruit qualities, producing high-quality cherries and having high yield production.

At Finca Villa Betulia, the ripest cherries are selected to undergo a pre-fermentation stage of 48–50 hours as whole cherries. The cherries are then hand-sorted to remove any defects and sun-dried on raised beds under temperature-controlled conditions until the ideal moisture content is achieved.

With more producers cultivating foreign varieties, coffee drinkers all over get to enjoy a greater breadth of flavour experiences from familiar varieties and terroir. Producers like Luis are local celebrities among Colombian coffee farmers. He is admired for preserving his father's legacy and promoting high-quality coffee in Huila. Luis's inspiring story continues with his son, Yeison, who now helps manage the estate and whose coffee we may have the pleasure of drinking in the near future.

Brew Guides

We've put together our go-to guides for the most popular brewing methods, these are by no means set in stone, nor can we promise a perfect result each and every time. What we can do however is provide you with a great foundation for a good brew, and allow for a bit of wiggle room and your own experimentation.