At La Minita, McAlpin has instituted growing practices that his peers consider both unorthodox and risky. He grows two arabica cultivars: the prized caturra and an older, lower-yielding one that McAlpin calls tipica. Some growers, McAlpin says, regard his cultivation of tipica as quixotic. But coffee derived from a combination of the two trees' fruit may be more nuanced, he says, and, by growing both, which flower at different times, his harvesting period is extended. McAlpin is also considered somewhat offbeat for having banned commonly used chemicals from his fields—but he believes they compromise the product, the soil, and, more importantly, the farmworkers' health. Rather than using pesticides, he says, he concentrates on maintaining strong trees that can fight off pests on their own. Instead of using herbicides, he hires laborers to weed the fields with machetes. His methods cost more, but for McAlpin, there is no alternative.