At the El Rodeo farm, grower Cristian Alvarez produces 100% caturra varietals at 1500 – 1700m elevation in the mountains of Tarrazu, Costa Rica. His mature caturra trees were planted roughly 15 years ago on land that has been part of his family for four generations. Cristian has been managing operations for the last four years with his father, who is still very much involved in the farm’s operation. Historically the family had dedicated this area of the farm for their horses, hence the name “El Rodeo”. It should also be noted, the views from up here are absolutely spectacular.
Cristian transports his coffee to be processed at the nearby Palmichal Micro-Mill, which is located between Costa Rica’s Central Valley and Tarrazu regions. This is an ideal location for a milling operation, allowing them to process coffee from the best farms of these renowned growing regions. The micro mill itself is state-of-the-art; it includes patios for sun-drying, elevated beds for more rigorous drying, and for more inclement weather, a greenhouse and specially designed drum driers. Palmichal handles the full spectrum of processing methods: conventional washed, variable grades of honey process, and natural processing. Every lot of coffee that passes through Palmichal is painstakingly separated in order to assure full traceability and consistently high cup quality.
Honey processing has become somewhat popular for a different taste profile from many coffee countries over the last few years. Using the honey method, coffee cherries are de-pulped, but much of the cherry fruit is left on the bean. The remnants of the cherry will then ferment into the bean – with mill operators very carefully drying and rotating the beans so there isn’t any chance of rot that could ruin the lot. When done correctly, the honey process results in a very pleasant tasting cup profile with accentuated sweetness, body and citrusy overtones.
|Mill Location:||Palmichal Micro Mill|
|Altitude:||4,000 - 5,000 ft|
|Harvest:||Oct - Feb|