intro

This dry-processed Costa Rican coffee comes to us by way of CoopePalmares (Cooperativa de Caficultores y de Servicios Múltiples de Palmares), a large cooperative group in North-Central Costa Rica. Founded in 1962, the group now boasts over 1450 members and state-of-the-art processing facilities; recycled water and a water treatment facility, recirculated-air guardiolas, and an organic fertilizer production plant are just some of the innovations in place. CoopePalmares also operates supermarkets, health centers for members, and a roasting facility that sells the product nationally.

Natural process coffees are less frequently seen from this Central American country than washed and honey-process. This rarity, combined with the high quality and unique flavor profile caught our attention and so we’ve boxed it up as a new Crown Jewel, ready to ship out via UPS.

GREEN

Made up of a few different varieties, this lot has a few noteworthy green characteristics. First, it is made up of primarily dwarf coffee varieties: Caturra and Catuaí are both Bourbon mutations and crosses, while Obatá is a Sarchimor variety recently released in Costa Rica by the country’s coffee research institute, ICAFE. Sarchimor combines the genetics of Villa Sarchi, a dwarf Bourbon mutation unique to Costa Rica, and Híbrido de Timor, whose Robusta backbone provides high productivity and disease resistance, especially to the Rust fungus running rampant through Central and South American coffee farms in the past few years.

I was really surprised, given the genetic makeup, the relatively low elevation, and dry processing, that this coffee is of very high density. While the coffee isn’t terribly high in moisture, it does have an elevated water activity reading. The coffee was graded Strictly Hard Bean, European Prep prior to export, meaning it meets the qualifications for the highest standards in Central America with approximately 90% screen size 16 and up.

TASTE

ROAST

This large, natural processed coffee is very sweet in the cup. Both roasts below were delicious, but PR-373, which spent just slightly more time in the drum had a cleaner finish and a lingering sweetness. For a complex roast character with a vibrant acidity and good sugar browning development, go for a more uniform roasting style that allows the interior and the exterior of the coffee develop at the same rate.

BREW

Chris & I approached these two roasts very similarly but were met with very different results. PR-372 had mild acidity with chocolate & grape notes while PR-373 had cherry, chocolate, grape & lime.

Origin Information

Grower
Cooperativa de Caficultores y de Servicios Múltiples de Palmares, COOPEPALMARES, R. L.
Variety
Caturra, Catuai, Obata, and Sarchimor.
Region
Palmares, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Harvest
October- February
Altitude
1,300 – 1,500 meters
Soil
Volcanic loam
Process
Dried in the cherry in the sun and mechanical driers
Certifications

Background Details

This coffee is sourced from Cooperativa de Caficultores y de Servicios Múltiples de Palmares, COOPEPALMARES, R. L.  COOPEPALMARES was founded in 1962 with over 1,450 members from Palmares, a canton in the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica.  COOPEPALMARES has a state of the art processing facility with certifications in quality and environmental management from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).  The wet mill utilizes recycled water and the mechanical dryers (guardiolas) recirculate airflow to maximize furnace efficiency.  The facility also has an organic fertilizer production plant and a water treatment plant. COOPEPALMARES operates two supermarkets in Palmares and sells roasted coffee for national consumption. Coop members have access to low interest loans and access to healthcare for their families at the coop run health center and mobile clinic.