Costa Rica is one of the top producers of coffee, and, as their number three export, is incredibly important to the country’s economy. Arabica coffee was first introduced to the country directly from Ethiopia in the late 1770’s. Like many countries’ governments, the Costa Rican government encouraged farming by offering plots of land to farmers who wanted to grow and harvest the plants. By 1829, coffee production was a larger source of revenue than tobacco, cacao, and sugar cane. Today, many Nicaraguan immigrants are often employed as seasonal workers on plantations to harvest coffee during peak seasons.
While Costa Rican beans are considered to be some of the highest quality in the world, beans from the Tarrazú region are the best of the best. Oscar and Francisca Chacon are the owners and operators of the Cumbres del Poas farm, and are the first to have a certified organic micro mill. Their incredible passion for producing the best coffee and dedication to perfecting every step of the process shows in the superior quality of their honey processed beans.
The Alma Negra natural process is defined by selective harvesting of only the ripest cherries. These cherries are washed and moved to patios for drying, and are moved intermittently throughout the morning, then capped and covered in the afternoon and evenings. Cherries dry for between 22 and 27 days. The drying mill, Las Lajas, is one of the best micro mills in Costa Rica and is well known for its exceptional drying techniques for natural and honey-processed coffees. Oscar and Francisca are constantly experimenting and developing new processing techniques to create the best possible coffees.
Image Credit: McKay Savage