This sweet coffee bean is our first Costa Rica offering! Costa Rica has a unique and very strong coffee history starting in the early 19th century when it gained independence from Spain in 1821. To encourage coffee production after gaining independence, the government gave away coffee seeds to it’s people. The government was so supportive of coffee that it exempted it from certain taxes and if anyone grew coffee on fallow land for five years, they could claim it as their own.

As a result of financial assistance from the English through the Anglo-Costa Rican Bank, coffee became the sole export of the country and drove the infrastructure for things like the first railroads, the first hospital, post office and government printing office. Coffee has also had a unsurprisingly huge impact on the culture. Costa Rica also developed a solid wet mill infrastructure which gave it a large advantage on the international market with its washed coffees. Eventually, coffee reached it’s geographical limits for Costa Rica.

Costa Rica has a reputation for clean and pleasant coffees. There was a brief drive for high-yielding coffee plants but recent changes have pushed back to heirloom coffee plants and more trace-ability of coffee. The Insuto del Cafe de Costa Rica (ICAFE) is the main governing organization for coffee. It’s 1.5 cent tax on all exports of coffee from Costa Rica works to fund research farms and promotes the quality of coffee from Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is the most developed and safest Central American country. Tourism is a huge industry and Ecotours on coffee farms are growing. Land ownership is very popular and 90% of coffee producers own small to medium farms.Map_of_Costa_Rica.svg

Meet the Bean: Costa Rica Familia Bonillia -La Loma

Tasting Notes: Raw cane juice, walnut, tart fruits, green grape, shimmering acidity

Varietal: Caturra

Score: 87.7

Process: Wet Process

About the Farm: This coffee is from the Bonilla family’s ‘Don Mayo’ micro mill. This is truly one of the oldest of the micro mills, starting back in 2003, and Hector Bonilla has worked at perfecting production at the facility along with his sons. This particular lot is also a previous Top 3 coffee at the Costa Rica Cup of Excellence.

To process the coffee, they mechanically-wash at a station with an efficient water conserving Penagos machine, dry parchment on raised beds, and then do all the dry milling themselves. This is not common to oversee the whole process! They also buy whole coffee cherries from local farmers to sell as individual micro-lots.

This coffee is part of Coffee Shrub‘s Farm Gate pricing program.

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