We really love Costa Rica: the people, the landscape, and, most importantly, the coffee. Our love affair with sourcing from this country began in 2010, and in that time we’ve been lucky to partner with many great producers and mills. What’s most exciting about Costa Rican coffee is the producers have the education, means and incentive to invest in their farm and turn their coffees from great to truly exceptional.
On our first visit to Costa Rica we established a friendship and partnership with Juan Ramon Alvarado and Francisco Mena, the owners of Exclusive Coffee, at the time, a start-up boutique exporter. Through this partnership, we have established some amazing relationships and forged some meaningful friendships with producers.
In 2010, we began working with Ricardo Perez and Marvin Rodrigues, owners of a mill called Helsar de Zarcero. This partnership has flourished as we have invested in working with several of the mill’s best producers and have devel-oped long-standing relationships with them. Over the past five years, we have expanded our scope to include some great relationships with producers across the country from the West Valley to Tarrazu.
Most notably, we have worked on two projects with Helsar: one to improve the drying of the coffee and help improve shelf life and another initiative to help farmers pick better coffee cherry. We have seen success with both of these initiatives but, while picking culture has proven hard to change, our drying projects have proliferated and have now been implemented with all of our partners.
The drying projects involve significant commitment from each producer. The infrastructure is not simple, the logistics are detailed and the amount of time required is onerous. We work closely with each producer to ensure that this process goes smoothly and we visit their farms two or three times a year to help them make any necessary tweaks. We have seen great results from these projects and have seen significant improvements in how long they last without losing vibrancy. We communicate throughout the year and provide feedback to the producers, always thinking about projects for the upcoming harvest.
Typical Costa Rica Harvest Schedule
- O5 Tea
- Classes & Events
Feature Partner: Revolucion Coffee and Juice (San Antonio, TX)
Honduras Pre-Harvest Report
Out of Africa: Phil’s Report