Direct Trade Coffee - Costa Rican Tarrazu - Rio Jorco Micro-Mill
Fratello Coffee is proud to introduce an exclusive new coffee available from the Tarrazu Valley in Costa Rica. Last month, we wrote about a Micro Mill Revolution happening in this region, this is one of those special micro-lots we wrote about.
The Rio Jorco Micro-Mill employees between 4-6 people & has 65 pickers during harvest season. Rio Jorco is situated at an altitude of 4600 feet, and like many farms in Tarrazu faces the Pacific Coast. The strong winds from the Pacific are important as they create a defined dry season. This dryness causes a stress on trees creating extra sweetness in Tarrazu coffees, and especially in the 100% Caturra lots we chose from Rio Jorco.
Rio Jorco which was once known as Hacienda Jorco, is rich in history and has played a key role in the development of excellent coffee within the Tarrazu region. The Rio Jorco Micro-Mill processes all of the coffee from their own estate. unlike in their early historyof 1910, when the coffee had to be taken from Jorco to San Jose using Oxen or on horseback. Though the distance was only 15 miles it was a long trip up winding muddy roads. This required oxen to be changed 2 or three times and a one day trip was considered fast. (more…)
Costa Rican Coffee Micro-mill Revolution
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.