Even as we were cupping the first coffees in February, in the hills of Tarrazu, we could tell that the 2018 Costa Rican harvest was going to be full of great offerings. Despite being another hard harvest, each farmer whom we visited and talked to was proud and excited. They were confident that their hard work improving agricultural practices and processing methods would be evident on the cupping table. And they were right!
Along with our importers Nordic Approach we had a lot of trouble getting the 2018 harvest in. Everything was late, weather conditions were bad, and dry mills were backed up. We even had to disqualify one coffee because the green bean moisture content went outside the ideal range.
Yet there were plenty of excellent coffees, making it hard to choose: there were some fantastic naturals on the table as well as a number of mind-blowing geishas. We ended up going with two farms that we loved in every respect: consistency, quality, and innovation. Most of all both of these farms have a bright future due to the next generation’s commitment to coffee farming.
CR 2018 Offering
San Pedro by Carlos Montero, Don Eli / Processing: Fully washed / Variety: Catuai
Anaerobic by Daniela Gutierrez, La Montana / Processing: Fully washed/anaerobic / Variety: Catuai, Caturra
Jacob Montero is the son of a well-known Tarrazu farmer Carlos Montero, and he runs the micro mill on their farm Don Eli. The farm is neatly run with a diverse offering of both processing methods and varieties. It was a wonderful experience to hang out there and listen to Don Carlos and Jacob’s stories and approach to coffee farming.
Daniela Gutierrez is a young coffee farmer also from Tarrazu. As soon as you meet her she strikes you as smart, a bit quiet, but ambitious and focused. So it came as no surprise that it was her anaerobic coffee that stood out to us as special - a paragon example of innovative and bold coffee practices. Her coffee will be one of the three 2018 coffees we will be introducing into our special selection Roaster’s Choice.
In future blog posts we’ll talk more about experimental post-harvest coffee processing like anaerobic process and more about our new Roaster’s Choice coffee program. For now we are excited to let you know that our first 2018 Costa Rica offering will be available in October and that we will be featuring Don Eli and Daniela Gutierrez coffees.
Now we have to roll up our sleeves and make sure we roast and extract well in order to bring out the best these coffees can offer. We are lucky to have Paul Rojas Newcomb working on our production team in Zagreb since he lived and worked with Jacob and Carlos on their farm during the 2018 growing season. Paul will make sure we put in some extra effort :)
Matija Powlison Belkovic
Co-founder/Head of sourcing and production