RoastingMoka/Espresso and filter
From the lush volcanic hills of the Aquiares Estate in Costa Rica, a specialty coffee micro-lot of the caturra variety which is environmentally and socially sustainable as well as Rainforest Alliance certified at origin.
Origin: Aquiares Turrialba
Finca: Aquiares Estate
Growth altitude: 1.100-1.400 mt a.s.l.
Processing method: Natural
Certifications: Rainforrest Alliance
Cupping score: 87.50
Aquiares Estate is located on the fertile slopes of the Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica. For over a century the farmers have been growing high-quality Arabica coffee with an eye on environmental and social sustainability, supporting a community of about 1800 people.
Founded in 1890 by British farmers, in 1971 it was bought by its current owners who made it a model of sustainable agriculture. Of the 924 hectares, 80% are dedicated to the cultivation of Arabica coffee, grown in the shade of other plants.
The name Aquiares in the indigenous language means "land between rivers". The coffee plantations extend between countless streams of water and rivers, protected by wooden areas that make it an ideal habitat for animals, birds, and other local plants.
Aquiares Estate manages the entire coffee supply chain, from the production of seedlings to harvesting and selection. This guarantees the highest standards of quality and traceability.
The “Don Alfonso” coffee batch represents the best of Aquiares’ harvest and bears the name of Don Alfonso Robelo, patriarch of the owners’ family.
As a true visionary, Don Alfonso started a project in 1992 to allow farmers to become owners of their own homes. A true community has been created around Aquiares which now also has a school, a youth sports program, waste recycling center, an early childhood center, and a church considered a national historic monument.
This lot is 100% made up of the Caturra variety, which represents the majority in the Aquiares Estate. This variety is perfectly suited for the growth of coffee in high altitudes and it ensures a high quality in the cup.
In order to obtain the best quality, all the harvest is done by hand. Micro lots like this are collected by a special team of expert pickers who are paid well above average for their ability to harvest only the ripest fruit. The harvested cherries are transferred to the Aquiares processing station on the same day of the harvest. First, they are selected for their density in water tanks where all the "floaters" are removed. Then the ripe fruits are immediately placed on concrete patios for the first drying phase. After two or three days, the drupes are then moved to African beds where they keep on drying inside covered greenhouses. Here they dry slowly and evenly in 20 to 25 days.
After resting for about a month in large siloses, the coffee beans are deprived of their parchment and selected based on size, weight, density, and color before being packaged for export.
The Aquiares Estate is one of the leading environmental and sustainable coffee estates.
Workers of the Aquiares Estate are guaranteed one of the most advanced working standards in Central America. Those who come for the harvest from far away, can stay in houses that are specifically made available for workers while also being able to send their children to a kindergarten. Doctor visits are scheduled twice a week for farmers and nutritional advice is provided for them as well.
The Aquiares Estate is a true example for sustainable agriculture. More than 50.000 trees have been planted to create shade around streams and water sources. The preservation of river valleys and forests through an advanced integrated pest management system makes Aquiares a real example of sustainability and eco-friendly practices.
To maintain the health of volcanic soil, organic matter from coffee pruning and other trees is left over to feed soil microbes and provide organic nutrients to plants. There are more than 40 species of trees which provide shade for coffee plants, that allow the development of the coffee beans’ aromatic complexity in the best possible way, by slowing down the maturation of coffee.
This rigorous environmental management enabled Aquiares to obtain the Rainforest Alliance certification in 2003. In 2012 it became the first Costa Rican plantation to meet the requirements of the R.A Climate Module regarding greenhouse gas emissions.
In the cup we find intense notes of berries and black tea, the acidity is medium and well balanced by an intense sweetness. The body is full and round with a pleasant chocolate aftertaste.
When tested according to the SCA protocol, this unique lot reached a score of 87,50 points.