I guess I’m a slow learner because it took me 4 days of visiting 16 micro mills (and 1 mega mill), cupping 48 individual lots of coffee and traveling through the Tarrazu, West Valley and Central Valley regions with Jason to fully understand & appreciate the phenomenon in Costa Rica.
This phenomenon is being called “The Micro-mill Revolution” by Francisco Mena of Exclusive Coffees. He has personally visited all 150 micro-mills that now operate through out Costa Rica and works with many of them to increase quality through proper growing, harvesting and processing techniques.
A micro-mill is small coffee farm (typically producing 1000 bags or less, or 152,000 lbs of coffee) that also has its own wet mill and processing on its farm. What this allows a farm to do is process their own cherries to ensure the absolute best quality and taste. This also allows the farmer to separate varietals (Typica from Caturra, etc…) for micro-lots as well as introduce unique processing methods for individual coffee roasters needs (washed, honey, red-honey, naturals). What this really means is complete traceability and a totally individual identity for each lot of coffee we bring in.