||Costa Rica Finca Arbar El Oasis Red Honey Caturra 2014
This is the second year of us having this coffee, and piece by piece we are finding out more about the farm. When we first found it last year we had very little information on the farm, so much so it didn’t even have a name!
This year my visit to the farm I got to find out lots more and also build a stronger relationship going forwards, let me tell you what I know so far...
I first got to meet Carlos at the exporter's office on the last day of my time in Costa Rica this year. He arrived around 10 minutes after I had cupped the first table of coffees, where I had found one lot that was making me sing. It just had to be his.
Here ensued the worst negotiation for buying coffee ever. I start "How much do you want?" He replies "How much do you like it?" I reply "A lot" he replies "I'd like a lot then please" to which I replied "OK". Luckily at this point a grown up from the exporters stepped in and made sure I didn't give Carlos my house and my car and my pension plan, and agreed a price that rewarded Carlos more than he had ever gotten before and left me with a home to return to.
Back then this coffee was just called Carlos Arietta, as this is all we knew about it.
This year on my return visit I got to spend some time with the family, stop for some lunch, hang out and ask lots of questions. First of all there's the mill which is called Arbar which is very close to the house, here they have drying tables and a small nursery. They don't have a deplulper, but more about this later. This is new, as before they would just sell their coffee to the local coop so have no interaction with the coffee.
Then I found out that they own two small farms, this being El Oasis the coffee we bought last year. The farm is located in the Western Valley region neat to the town of Lourdes De Naranjo. It's located at 1,600 meters above sea level, and contains mostly Caturra, with a tiny bit of Villa Sarchi with plans to plant some small micro lots too in the future. It produces between 700-1,400kg a year.
Carlos runs the farm with his wife and his children, Maria Isabel, Yesica, Karen, Stephen, and Jose Ignacio. He has owned this farm for 15 years but has just this year, for the first time, processed the coffee himself (paying someone to pulp it for him). Because he has never been able to present his coffee to a buyer before, he sent it to the exporter we use in Costa Rica.
You may notice that this coffee is priced differently. Our normal nicely rounded down prices are not there. This years coffee should sell for £7.50 (we negotiated a small price drop this year as we bought everything from both farms, and this works out that there are some economies of scale compared to the £10.00 of last year) but we're charging £7.88. Well this is so we (by we I mean you) can buy Carlos and his family a depulper for next years harvest. So he doesn’t have to pay someone to pulp it and can get more and more control of his amazing coffee.
You can go and see what your generosity has bought as I lent the money to Carlos as I promised you would pay it back at the blog post here (I hope you're good for it!).
In the cup expect pineapples and peaches mixed in with 5 Alive Tropical Hit fruit juice, with a complex fruit sweetness.
Farm: El Oasis
Micro Mill: Arbar
Farmer: Carlos Arrieta
City: Lourdes De Naranjo
Region: Western Valley
Altitude: 1,600 m.a.s.l.
Variety: Catuai, Caturra and small amount of Villa Sarchi
Processing System: Red honey
Medium to medium dark roast. My preference is just into second crack, first few pops then drop.
"Quick Look" Guide
Pineapple, peaches, 5 Alive Tropical Hit fruit juice, fruit sweetness.
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