Coffee Origin Trip 2021: Costa Rica
This past January, Volcanica Coffee traveled to Costa Rica during the coffee harvest to visit micromills in the Tarrazu region. Tarrazu is known for its high quality coffee beans and amazing views, what some would call “a coffee gold mine”. Our goal was to purchase the best crop from this years harvest while also fostering new relationships with micromills.
The Volcanica Coffee Team flew into Juan Santamarîa Airport near the capital city, San Jose. We picked up an SUV that would allow us to go off-road into the farms of Tarrazu. During our stay, we visited two micromills; Finca La Candelilla and Finca La Mercedes. A micromill is a coffee plantation that not only grows and harvests its own coffee but also processes the coffee on-site. Most micromills produce smaller quantities, and as a result only harvesting what is needed for that year. This allows the producer to focus on the quality of the coffee instead of maximized volume.
We arrived at Finca La Candelilla where we met Marcia, a member of the third-generation of the family to work on the coffee farm. Marcia’s Father Hector, has managed the processing mill for the last 30 years just like his Father did. Finca La Candelilla is the oldest micromill in Costa Rica and is well-known for its natural processed geisha coffee. The coffee beans they produce are SL-128, Cattura, and Catuai. Each year, the micromill offers internships to students studying at the university in Costa Rica. This ensures that the agriculture practices used today are passed down to each generation. In the past year, Volcanica Coffee has offered a Costa Rica Geisha that comes from this particular micromill. We enjoyed this coffee so much that we made sure to create a long-lasting relationship with this micromill and plan to continue offering this coffee to customers like you.
Our next stop was Finca Las Mercedes, a 13-acre farm that dates back to over 100 years. Today, Finca Las Mercedes is managed by Melita who’s family passed the property down to her. Melita and her husband Luis focus on producing high-quality coffee through organic practices. They have a beautiful AirBnB on-site that we stayed at during our visit. One of the most interesting things we learned about Finca Las Mercedes is that they only harvest what is needed for the season. This ensures that quality precedes quantity and that coffee pickers only pick the ripest coffee cherries from the tree. The coffee that this micromill produces is SL-128, cattura, and catuai. Through a partnership we created with Melita and Luis, the goal of procuring coffee from this estate to supply our Costa Rica Original and Costa Rica Natural will become a reality. While we do not offer coffee from this estate at the moment, we plan to offer it in 2022.
Volcanica Coffee’s trip to Costa Rica will be paving the way for how we continue to source coffee from this country. Our goal is to keep our producers close and to support them each season by continuing our sourcing efforts. As always, Volcanica Coffee Company is continually looking for new farms to partner with in each country. A direct-trade relationship is far superior than any other certification a coffee could have. We believe that trading directly with the farmers will result in a better life for everyone.
The experience of traveling to Costa Rica, meeting the loving people that we work with, touching the fresh berries, and partaking in cuppings on the farms has led us to truly connect with the process behind our product. Volcanica Coffee Company’s trip not only left us feeling more confident that we work with great people and source amazing products, but also allowed us to have a clearer image of the direction and type of relationships we hope to foster in the future.
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