$19.00
Origin Tarrazú, San José
Notes  Green Grape, Red Apple, Dark Chocolate
Processing  Washed
Varietal  Catuai, Caturra
Altitude  1400 - 1500 m
Farm  Smallholder Farms
Producer  Smallholder Contributors 
Roasted for Filter


About this coffee

This SHB EP Fully washed lot from Tarrazú is named for the amapola, a local name for hibiscus, tropical flower that paints the countryside in vibrant shades of reds and pinks when they bloom in late summer.

Tarrazu is among Costa Rica's most famous growing region for good reason: The nearby Pirris river provides water to the highland region and the high altitudes of the Talamanca Sierra mountain range create the warm days and cool nights that promotes slow maturation and a sweet, dense bean.

The region is fueled by coffee production and export. During harvest season, the Tarrazú region sees its population grow threefold with the influx of seasonal workers. Many people’s income largely depends on coffee production.

Harvest

During the harvest season, all coffee is selectively hand-picked. Most families only have 200 to 250 trees, and harvesting is done almost entirely by the family.

Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherry. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check its quality. Bugestal still purchases floaters (damaged, underripes, etc) but immediately separates the two qualities and only markets floaters as B-quality cherry. After floating, the higher quality cherry is sorted again by hand to remove any damaged, underripe and overripe cherries.

After sorting, the beans are then transported directly to the drying tables where they will dry slowly for 3-4 weeks. Cherry is laid out in a single layer. Pickers go over the drying beans for damaged or defective beans that may have been missed in previous quality checks. The station is very strict about allowing only the highest quality cherry to complete the drying process. The beans are covered with tarps during periods of rain, the hottest part of the day and at night.

Once dry, the coffee is then bagged and taken to the warehouse. Bugestal’s team of expert cuppers assess every lot (which are separated by station, day and quality) at the lab. The traceability of the station, day and coffee quality is maintained throughout the entire process.

Coffee in Costa Rica

Thanks to tireless innovations, the sheer number of coffee varieties, extensive technical knowledge and attention to coffee production, Costa Rica is one of the most advanced coffee producing countries in Central America.

The climatic conditions in the country also play a role in the high quality of coffee produced. There are eight coffee regions: Guanacaste, West Valley, Turrialba, Valle Central (Central Valley), Tres Rios, Brunca, Orosi, and Tarrazú, a specific part of Valle Central.

Costa Rica has also become a world leader in traceability and sustainability in coffee production. Ninety percent of the country’s 50,000 coffee farmers are smallholders, and today, many deliver their cherry to boutique micro-mills that often process cherries according to producer specs to retain single-lot or single-farm qualities.

The rise of micro-mill processing, in itself, is a relatively recent development. Prior to the early 2000s it was common for smaller producers to deliver their cherry to cooperative-owned mills. As lucrative specialty markets developed, more and more farmers began establishing mills on their own farms, giving them increased control over processing and more assurance of the ‘traceability story’ so important to the growing market segment. Mills with excess capacity would then offer their services to neighboring farmers, offering a range of processing methods for small lots along with full traceability for roasters and importers. The system has enabled Costa Rica’s small to mid-sized coffee farmers to offer a wide range of differentiated products. Today, specialty lots from Costa Rica are almost as likely to bear the name of the micro-mill where they were processed as that of the producing farm.

The typically uncertain and dry weather patterns in Costa Rica make coffee farming more difficult. Long dry seasons and unpredictable weather patterns have virtually eliminated the possibility of organic farming. Nonetheless, both the government and farmers have taken active steps to protect the environment. Some of these restrictions also inform the processing methods for which Costa Rican coffee has become known.