About Costa Rica San Francisco 1900 Tarrazu Micro-Lot
A perennial favorite of ours, San Francisco 1900 from Tarrazu is back once again in 2014. It arrived as new crop end of August and little later than usual, packed in grainpro at origin.
We visited Hector Bonilla about a year ago and spent time with him and his family at the Don Mayo micro mill that they own and operate. In addition to being one of the pre-eminent new, boutique mills in Costa Rica, Hector also owns several parcels of choice coffee producing land in surrounding Tarrazu, including the wonderful San Francisco parcel, high up in the clouds. During our couple of days in the area we cupped about sixty coffees, all blindly, and the San Francisco spoke to us as it had the prior year when we offered it for the first time. It's so nice when you discover something of quality produced by people with the best intentions and the skill to realize their vision.
The Bonilla Solis family, owners of the Bella Vista Tarrazu farm and Don Mayo micromill, won 1st place in the 2009 Cup of Excellence competition. The winning coffee was from their Bella Vista 1900 farm (1900 meters high) owned by Josue Bonilla Solis. We are pleased to offer San Francisco 1900, coffee from the same farm, elevation and micro mill as the winning lot, but at a fraction of the price. This is a direct trade coffee and we have purchased the majority of their production of this lot.
The Tarrazu region has extremely mountainous terrain, high elevations and some of the best growing conditions for coffee in Central America. The lot area called San Francisco de Leon Cortes is a micro region on the Bella Vista farm located at 1900 meters, about 6250 feet. The nearby Don Mayo boutique coffee mill which processed this coffee, as well as the farm itself, is a family owned company of the Bonilla Solis family. So, there is total control and continuity between the farm's production and the micro mill's processing. The family has been active in quality coffee growing and production in Tarrazu for more than 50 years.
Varietal is 100% Caturra, traditionally processed at the Don Mayo micromill. This includes depulping, fermentation, washing, patio drying in the sun, and, after a couple of months of repose, the coffee is milled before shipping. Of note, we purchased this coffee in Grainpro bags so they have and will continue to be protected from moisture, taste and external odors. This will optimize the coffee's flavors and keep the coffee at its peak longer.
- Producer : Hector Bonilla & Family
- Region : Tarrazu
- Micro region : San Marcos of Tarrazu
- Altitude : 1900 meters / 6230 feet above sea level
Cup Characteristics: This wonderful coffee has a nice clean, bright and sophisticated style. This is classic Costa Rica Tarrazu with orange, lemon complexity. Lavender background notes. Structured, lively acidity. Long aftertaste. Refined, elegant, classy coffee.
Roasting Notes: This high grown coffee is hard and durable, thus it can withstand higher heat and longer roasting times, doing very well to second crack. But do yourself a favor and pull the coffee before the roast dominates; the more delicate flavors will be revealed.
Coffee arrived August 2014 from the new 2014 crop having just arrived in the US days before. The top Costa Rica coffees, grown at the highest altitudes and requiring the longest resting period, start arriving later than others.
Hector Bonilla enjoying something other than his terrific coffee.
Approaching the Don Mayo micro mill in Tarrazu
The wetmill is surrounded by drying patio and storage.
Costa Rica coffee facts:
Population (2006): 4.1 million People
Coffee Production: 1.7 million bags (60 kg)
Country bag capacity: 150 pounds
Domestic Consumption: 380,000 bags
Coffee Export: 1,320,000 bags
Cultivated Area: 82,500 Hectares (203,775 acres)
September to February
Arabica Introduced: Coffee was first introduced into Costa Rica in 1779 from Cuba. First exportation was in 1820.
Farms: About 32,000, over half are small farms (less than 1 hectare).
Specialty Coffee Regions: Tarrazu, Tres Rios, Central
Valley, Pacific Central, South Pacific
Botanical Varietals: Mondo Nuevo, Hibredo/Tico, Villa Sarchi, Geisha, Caturra, Catui
Comments: Coffee is grown in Costa Rica on both the Atlantic and Pacific slopes at altitudes between 1600 and 5400 feet. The highest grade is called Strictly Hard Bean, grown at elevations over 3900 feet. Costa Rica produces some exceptional coffees, renowned for their brilliance, balance and complexity.