Micro Lot Costa Rica – Aquiares Estate – Natural Process
TASTE: Green Apple, Chocolate, Honey
PRODUCER: Alfonso & Diego Robelo
ELEVATION: 800 -1400m
VARIETAL: Esperanza (a hybrid of Caturra and the Ethiopia 531)
ROAST DEGREE: Light – Medium
We work with Don Alfonso and his family from the Aquiares Estate in Costa Rica. In the 1990’s Don Alfonso launched a program to enable workers to buy homes and land from the farm. To begin with most people thought it was too good to be true, but his long term vision meant that people could invest more in education and wellbeing. These days the community of Aquiares has grown in the midst of the farm and is home to almost 2000 people. 96% of Aquiares employees own their own home thanks to him. And then there’s the fact that this estate is CARBON NEGATIVE.. In 2012, Aquiares became the first farm in Costa Rica to fulfil the requirements of the Rainforest Alliance Climate Module.
This unique micro lot is picked by hand to ensure consistent high quality. Microlots, such as this one, are picked by a special team of skilled harvesters who are paid well above the daily rate for their exceptional skill in picking the ripest cherries at each pass. Each tree is visited up to seven times during the harvest to ensure that only fully red ripe cherries are picked. The skilled hands of the pickers represent the farm’s most valuable asset. Pickers hail from the community of Aquiares, nearby towns, and even from the neighbouring country of Nicaragua.
The farm ensures that all workers have a safe work environment and a comfortable place to live. Workers coming from further away can live in on-site housing and use a children’s day-care. The farm sponsors doctors’ visits for pickers and their families twice a week where nutritional health advice is also given. To take better care of its field workers, Aquiares has established first-of-its-kind physical therapy sessions and also a daily warm-up routine of exercise before work. Many pickers return each year, confirming success in providing a secure home in Aquiares.
As coffee cherries come from the field the same day that they are picked, they move into Aquiares’ own wet mill. The farm produces fully washed coffees, and naturals. The natural lot has been floated for density (with all floaters being removed) and then immediately moved to the farms greenhouse patios for pre-drying. After 2-3 days of pre-drying on the concrete, they are moved to the farm’s African beds, also in the covered greenhouse, where they slowly dry for between 20 and 25 days.
Aquiares is the first carbon negative farm in Costa Rica. Learn more HERE!