Julia Vega Rodríguez, Olman Cruz Vega, Ricardo Chávez Garita, and Juan Bautista Mejia Rojas
San Rafael de San Ramón, Alajuela, Costa Rica
November – February
Fully washed and dried in the sun and mechanical driers
Ticos have a way of producing coffee with special intensity and a level of rhythmic precision. Its pure poetry and there’s no surprise that this lot is called El Poeta. It begins and ends with Cafe de Altura de San Ramon, which owns and operates a state-of-the-art mill designed to receive cherries from many small farms and consistently process this well balanced regional blend. Cherries are placed in a large tank with water to remove the less denses and damaged beans that float. Next the cherries are depulped and pass through a demucilager that mechanically strips the mucilage from the beans. All of this is done with a recycling water system. The washed beans move down from the wet-mill through a long elevated conveyor belt into a machine that uses forced air to shed any remaining water. The coffee then passes through a series of dryers to gently reduce the moisture to 11 percent. All of this happens in a matter of just over 72 hours, which seems fast until you stop to consider that not a minute is wasted in the process. After all this, the coffee is rested for a period of at least a month in silos and then milled for export with another equally impressive series of machines dedicated to dehulling and sorting green beans by weight and color. With every detail of the post harvest operation covered, producers can turn their full attention to farm management practices with a special emphasis on sustainable practices.