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, farmworkers are monitored and protected with minimum living standards and widely enforced minimum wages for all employees.
Our El Perezoso (‘The Sloth’) comes from Coopro Naranjo, located in Costa Rica’s West Valley, an area under the influence of Pacific weather patterns which was badly hit by hurricane Nate in 2017. The coop has over 2,000 members, and has been running its ‘Loma’ microlot programme (named after the ‘lomas’ – ranges of hills – that characterise the region) since 2006. The programme offers agronomy and processes training and support to its members. The producers need to fulfil the requirements of the coop for their coffee to be considered for microlots and, if successful, they receive a cash advance of 110,000 colones (approx. $180). The specialty quality cherries destined for microlots are delivered directly to the coop.
At the coop, the microlots are dried on African (raised) beds. Yellow honeys are transported in water to the table (which allows them to be classified as yellow honeys according to the coop standards). The lots are not disturbed at all during the first night, but are moved every 20 minutes after that. It takes 10-12 days to dry the honeys, 18 days for the naturals.
Our El Perezoso lots are mostly comprised of cherries from Los Robles, one of the region’s hill ranges.