Producer: Sanchez Family
Origin: Tarrazu, San Marco
Varietal: Caturra, Catuai
Altitude: 1500 metres above sea level
Flavours: Apricot, Tropical Fruits & Bubble Gum
Cup Score: 86.5
Harvest: December - February (Arrival in UK 1st July 2020)
Importer: Falcon Coffees
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, especially for U.S. travellers, 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, farmworkers are monitored and protected with minimum living standards and widely enforced minimum wages for all employees.
This year, flowering was really good and homogenous last year therefore the entire volume (at one given area) was harvested within a couple of weeks. Which made it tense in terms of space and labour in the farms and mills. However, the summer (harvest time) which is normally very dry has been a little wet which has impacted a lot the harvest rounds and the process of the coffee. A drought earlier in the year has impacted the volume of the crop. But although the volume is lower this year, the quality is very good.
La Candelilla was the first independent mill created in Costa Rica in the 2000’s. They used to deliver their cherries to the huge neighbour Coope Tarrazu mill but decided in 1998 (in the middle of the coffee crisis) to add value to their product taking control of the process.
The farms and mill are run by siblings covering 70ha of planted coffee in total.
The pulp from the wet mill is piled in one parcel before being used as organic fertilizer. Chemicals are used but biodynamic techniques against pests are applied as well. They send soil samples to the national research centre Icafe every year and adjust the fertilizing, the planting, etc. according to the results.
9 to 10 pickers help the family during the season to harvest Caturra, Red and Yellow Catuai, Typica, Geisha and SL28 (tiny amount). On receiving the cherries, samples are taken to assess the number of floaters, immature beans, Broca affected beans and to calculate an estimated yield for the lot. This year, 2,020 fanegas have been delivered to the mill which is pretty much the same as last year.
African beds and patios are available for drying. All naturals and more fragile varieties lots start their drying journey on beds and are then moved to patios. The naturals are not touched for 2 days to avoid breaking the cherries and it takes from 17 to 22 days to complete natural drying and 7-10 days for semi-washed.
The new generation (fourth) is already working along with their parents, innovating and growing the business. It has been informally agreed that one son or daughter per household will take over the farm when the parents retire. It also seems that more young people are coming back to the region after finishing their studies in the capital which is a great assess for the coffee industry.
Filter & Espresso