Costa Rican La Alianza Tierra Madre
A rare gem from the fertile soil and ideal climate of Costa Rica’s central valley, this well-balanced organic coffee is cultivated by a co-op of 250 dedicated farmers. Harvested only during the cool days of November, this coffee is a treat for the senses.
Honey graham, dark chocolate, cherry
Medium body and acidity
Cooperativa Agroindustrial y de Servicios Múltiples de San Antonio
Here is a scarce gem from the southern half of Costa Rica where a group of 250 producers with just a few acres of land dedicated to organically cultivate coffee along with beans and corn have pulled their resources to form a cooperative called Cooperativa Agroindustrial y de Servicios Múltiples de San Antonio, Pérez Zeledón R.L. (COOPEASSA R.L.).Producers focus their attention on farm management throughout the year and then deliver their cherry to the COOPEASSA R.L. mill during the harvest where traceability and quality control are second to none.
The wet-mill is designed to receive cherries from many small farms and consistently process this well-balanced regional blend. Cherries are placed in a tank with water to remove the less dense 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 parchment is then placed on raised beds and the moisture is gently reduced to 11 percent and stored until it is time to prepare for export. COOPEASSA R.L. has an equally intricate model of income diversification with a profitable agriculture supply store, supermarket and roasted coffee sold throughout the country.
When white coffee blossoms blanket the fields of Costa Rica's Central Valley, filling the air with sweet jasmine-like fragrance, the Ticos call it 'Costa Rican snow'. The country's coffee is world-famous, and for good reason...
You might well surmise that the crop is indigenous to Costa Rica, but it is not. The Spanish, French, and Portuguese brought coffee beans to the New World from Ethiopia and Arabia. In the early 1800s, when seeds were first planted in Costa Rica, coffee plants were merely ornamental, grown to decorate patios and courtyards with their glossy green leaves, seasonal white flowers, and red berries. Costa Ricans had to be persuaded, even coerced, into growing them so the country might have a national export crop. Every Tico family was required by law to have at least a couple of bushes in the yard. The government awarded free plants to the poor and grants of land to anyone who was willing to plant coffee on it.
The Central Valley has the ideal conditions for producing coffee: altitude above 1,200 meters (4,000ft); temperatures averaging between 15°C and 28°C (59°F and 82°F); and the right soil conditions. Coffee estates quickly occupied much of the land, except for that needed to graze the oxen that lugged the coffee-laden carts. As the only Costa Rican export, the country’s financial resources were organized to support it. By 1840, coffee had become big business, carried by ox-cart through mountains to the Pacific port at Puntarenas, then by ship to Chile and on to Europe. By the mid-1800s an oligarchy of coffee barons had risen to positions of power and wealth, for the most part through processing and exporting the bean, rather than by actually growing it.