A coffee trip to Costa Rica
Coffee and travel go hand in hand, they are perfect companions for a short trip to a neighbouring city, a far away place, or as a form of escapism in the midst of your day. For us, they are the main cog of our sourcing mythos, building on relationships with our partner producers at origin every season in order for us to understand coffee in a deeper, more meaningful way.
As we embark on yet another sourcing season stuck at home without travel, we’re feeling a little nostalgic about our friends in far places. So, over the next few weeks we invite you to escape with us as we virtually visit our favourite coffee growing regions, revealing some of the places, farms, and secrets we have discovered along the way. Without further ado, let’s escape to Costa Rica…
Country: Costa Rica
Where to go? Tarrazu, West Valley
When to go? Jan – April
Favourite Farms? Santa Lucia, Santa Teresa, Los Girasoles, Carrizal Arriba, Finca Piesan, Cedral, El Vendeval, Quebrade Grande, La Vuida
At a Glance:
The region of Tarrazu is famous in the specialty coffee industry and is visited by roasters and coffee exporters all around the world.
The area itself sits at an extremely high altitude, and the farms are perched among mountain peaks scattered throughout the region. At this altitude the microclimate differs hugely from one side of the mountain to the other. Imagine how a patch of land shaded by the mountain and cold all morning, then thrust into hot afternoon sun, might have a very different growing climate than a patch on the other side, in weaker sunlight all morning and shaded by afternoon. As a result of these growing differences, as well as the challenge of reaching the slopes at these altitudes, coffee farms from this area are much smaller geographically than many imagine when picturing a family farm.
A must see:
Spend the early morning cupping in the lab and tasting the new seasons harvests then take the beautiful two-hour car ride through gorgeous scenery to visit a partner farm or two and watch the sunset from on top of a mountain at picturesque Santa Teresa Mill.
What not to miss?
- Micro Mills. A lot of the family-owned farms in Costa Rica have their own micro mills on site that allow them to process their own and neighbouring farms' coffees. This gives them control over the final cup quality and a chance to experiment with processing or fermentation.
- The Honey Process. Costa Rica is known for the honey process. This means that tasting and purchasing different coffees from the same farm with a varied degree of honey processing allows for a wonderful spectrum of flavours and cup profiles to compare from similar plant varieties and terrior. If you get a chance you have to try a white, yellow, red, and black honey processed coffee.