MEET OUR FARMERS
Our Meet Our Farmers series provides a glimpse into the history, legacy and dedication of the farming families whom we partner with. When you purchase San Francisco Bay Coffee, you are joining our efforts to improve the lives of our farmers and those in their communities around the world.
Sept 8, 2020
Finca Hamburgo, Mexico
Left to Right: Miranda Edelmann Toriello, Maria Amalia Toriello, Tomás Edelmann Blass and (Tomás) Bruno Edelmann Toriello
Perched atop the Sierra Madre mountains in the Chiapas region of Mexico, Finca Hamburgo is home to one of the oldest coffee farms in the country, boasting a lush landscape and a rich history. The tropical climate with both rainy and dry seasons, fertile volcanic soil, indigenous shade trees and high altitude of 4,100 feet above sea level contribute to the plantation’s ideal growing conditions and high-quality Arabica coffee bean production.
Finca Hamburgo, Mexico
This fifth generation family-run farm that is a long-time producer for SF Bay is currently managed by Tomás Edelmann, together with his wife Maria Amalia Toriello, son (Tomás) Bruno and daughter Miranda. However, Finca Hamburgo was first established in 1888 by Tomás’ great grandfather, Arthur Edelmann, who immigrated from Hamburg, Germany. At the encouragement of the Mexican government, he was invited to bring his coffee machinery expertise to develop the jungle terrain, build infrastructure and initiate the coffee industry in that area. In doing so, his priorities early on were to ensure work, housing and food for the local people, and that same commitment remains central to the farm’s operations today.
Arthur Erich Edelmann and his wife Doris, circa 1888.
The farm currently supports more than 100 families of permanent workers, with up to an additional 500 Guatemalan workers and family members during the harvest season of October through February. For all of them, Finca Hamburgo is able to provide the services needed for a comfortable life, including food, housing, electricity, water, a medical clinic, soccer fields and schools. “Our relationship with San Francisco Bay Coffee has been in place for more than 20 years and has allowed us to maintain the farm, keep it functioning and make a living from it. The Rogers family that owns San Francisco Bay Coffee has always insisted on paying us more than the cost of our production, and they have invested more than $1 million in our community to provide better conditions for the people who live and work with us,” explains Tomás. San Francisco Bay Coffee is Finca Hamburgo’s primary distributor in the United States.
Ensuring a good quality of life for the community goes hand in hand with ensuring the growth and production of great quality coffee. Finca Hamburgo currently produces three main coffee varieties for SF Bay, including Catuai, Bourbon and Sarchimor, with smaller lots on the horizon of an exotic Pacamara bean and a Laurina variety containing 70% less caffeine naturally. The farm typically has up to 22 different varieties being actively tested before eventual selection and plantation. Once mature, the coffee is collected, selected and dried, all by hand, using mostly traditional methods to ensure the finest quality. When fully harvested and processed, Finca Hamburgo’s beans are taken to the nearby Port of Chiapas and shipped directly to SF Bay. Within one short week, the fresh coffee is in SF Bay’s Northern California facility, bypassing any opportunity for it to be affected by heat or other adverse conditions.
“We are so happy and proud that both our kids are dedicated to the farm and keeping the family business alive. It’s very seldom to see five generations in the specific area of coffee.” ~ Tomás Edelmann
Looking ahead, the Finca Hamburgo family legacy is set to continue. While Bruno is working with Tomás to oversee the coffee processing, roasting and nursery portions of the business, Miranda is managing a new venture for the family by running their first coffee shop in Mexico City called Postales de Café. They have hopes of expanding the single store into a chain of coffee shops featuring their own products.
For coffee lovers interested in an immersive coffee appreciation experience, Finca Hamburgo also has a boutique hotel, spa, restaurant and small museum on property, with plantation tours and excursions available. Tomás says, “We welcome people to visit us and see what we do. It’s easy to order a cup of coffee, but you have to see everything that is behind the making of a single cup.” Visitors are even able to try their hand at roasting their own coffee while visiting this small paradise that is often described as being just half a block from heaven.
Finca Hamburgo Hotel & Spa
Finca Hamburgo attributes a significant portion of their success to the ongoing partnership with
and support provided by SF Bay. “Thanks to the way they work, always taking care of their
farmers and supporting social programs that help our people to have a better way of living, that
has made the big difference over 20 years for Finca Hamburgo,” notes Tomás. “We need a
company like San Francisco Bay Coffee to deliver our coffee to customers. What we can do in
return is consistently make the best quality coffee, a good amount of it, and make the people
who work for us happy.”
San Francisco Bay Coffee is proud of our long-term relationship with Finca Hamburgo and the Edelmann Toriello family who share the same core values when it comes to providing the richest, most flavorful coffees on earth, while striving to make the world a better place.