Producer: ASOPROAAA Member Producers (Don Miguel Micro lot)
Origin: Tarrazu, Acosta
Varietal: Caturra, Catuai
Altitude: 1350-1450 metres above sea level
Flavours: Plums, raisin, orange
SCAA Score: 86
Where is it from?
Costa Rica is nestled in the heart of Central America and is as diverse as it is beautiful. This little country has it all – from mountains and volcanoes to rainforests that buzz with life and coastlines with great beaches and surf. With such an impressive landscape, combined with its stable government and relative safety compared to its Central American neighbours, Costa Rica is a well-established tourist destination and around 1.5 million visitors are drawn to its shores, forests and mountains each year.
The nation’s stability and forward thinking governance mean Costa Rica has a much higher standard of living than its neighbours, making it a much more expensive country to visit or do business in. The coffee industry is well regulated by the national body Icafe. Under Icafe’s watchful eye, farm workers are monitored and protected with minimum living standards and widely enforced minimum wages for all employees. This regulation has had two distinct impacts on the quality and type of coffee being produced in Costa Rica:
1. Quality has improved as the cost of production is estimated to be close to $2/lb – almost 25% higher than their Latin American counterparts. No longer able to compete on price with the high cost of land, living and employee wages, has forced producers to improve quality.
2. Costa Rica has become a boutique origin producing value-added coffees through experimental processing. No other origin we work in produces the diversity and quality of processing methods as Costa Rica. The quality of their naturals, in particular, is extraordinary, with a clarity and complexity that few of the world's producers can match.
Whilst Costa Rica’s total production volume is in decline, as ‘volume growers’ struggle to compete with producers from neighbouring countries on price, the future of the country’s coffee production seems to be in speciality micro lots that benefit from inventive and interesting processing methods. Leading the way in this regard are the regions of Tarrazu, the Central Valley, the West Valley and Tres Rios.
This lot of honey processed coffee has been harvested from the farms of ASOPROAAA member producers. Members deliver their coffee to the ASOPROAAA mill in Acosta where it is separated to ensure traceability and processed using either the washed, honey or natural methods. ASOPROAA utilize raised beds and patios to sun-dry. The coffee is processed, stored and dry-milled at the ASOPROAAA mill. The Association of Agricultural Producers of Acosta and Asserí, ASOPROAAA, was established in September 1998, following the devastating destruction in the region by Hurricane Mitch.
The association consists of more than 1,100 families producing coffee, citrus and farming cattle in the areas of Acosta, Jorco and Palmichal. ASOPROAAA offers financial, commercial and technical assistance to members, and employs dedicated programs to improve the livelihoods of members of the community. More than 2000 houses were built for people with limited resources as part of a special program initiated by the association. ASOPROAAA has been influential in the revival of agricultural production in the area following Hurricane Mitch, and a pioneer in the processing of micro lots by its members. Lots from ASOPROAAA have won numerous quality awards in addition to regularly placing in the finals of the Cup of Excellence competition.
This coffee scored a very high 86 in SCAA cupping. It produces a sweet cup with a creamy body with flavours of plums, raisin and orange. Perfect for both espresso and filter.