El Pilon Micromill is owned and operated by Edgar Ureña, one of three brothers who have been coffee producers for their entire lives. Edgar’s “next door” neighbor is his brother Martín’s La Chumeca Mircromill. Edgar and Martín have developed a simple, effective, and inexpensive technique to ensure their Naturals always comprise only the very best, ripest cherry: They have rigged two large blue tanks with some piping and fresh water in order to not only do a quick and thorough float sort, but also to divert the damaged and defective beans out of the way using gravity and the force of the water. This method has improved the brothers’ quality tremendously since they began producing Naturals in the early 2010s.
Edgar is particularly detail-oriented, making sure he walks among the drying beds at El Pilon constantly to inspect the coffee; he rarely stops sorting and picking out less-than-perfect cherries as he passes by.
El Pilon and La Chumeca also share some dry milling facilities, including a more than 100-year-old hulling machine and a brand-new roaster, which they use to prepare samples for cupping, coffee for guests, and bags of coffee to sell right there on the farm.