Thumbnail Filmstrip of Costa Rica La Pastora Tarrazu Images
About Costa Rica La Pastora Tarrazu
Arrived May 2022, one of the first new crop coffees of the season from Costa Rica. The highest grown coffee from Costa Rica typically comes from Tarrazu, near Volcan Poas, in the Southern Pacific region. The terrain is steep, the soil is richly volcanic and the air is often humid. These conditions combine to produce high quality coffee. In the center of the tiny 'downtown' is Coopetarrazu, the centralized cooperative where much of the community harvested coffee is brought for processing, the majority of which is traditionally washed fermentation. Coopetarrazu has about 2,500 member area farmers, some large, some exceedingly small. We remember on visits there, at the peak of the harvest, seeing local producers backing up their pickup trucks to sell the coffee cherry they grew. Occasionally, the farm and production is so small that it is carried by motorcycle, bicycle or by hand.
La Pastora is a neighborhood, really a small community overlooking San Marcos, where some of the top Tarrazu is grown. The vast majority, if not all of the coffee is picked by hand from the coffee trees growing on the steep hillsides. The coffee for this La Pastora area, once delivered to Coopetarrazu, is separated from other cherry, processed and bagged separately. It is one of the more sought after SHB (Strictly Hard Bean) coffees. The SHB designation signifies coffee is grown over 4,500 feet or roughly 1,350 meters. Much of it is grown at considerably higher elevation.
Coopetarrazu assists in getting its members technical assistance, low cost loans, low prices for fertilizers, and high prices for coffee. The most important aspect of the Coop is the economic benefit of the region and the members.
- Cooperative: Coopetarrazú
- Region: La Pastora Estate, San Marcos de Tarrazu, Tarrazu Canton
- Altitude: 1,350 - 1,600 meters
- Varietal: Caturra, Catuai
- Grade: Strictly Hard Bean (SHB)
- Harvest: Nov – Jan
- Process: Fully Washed
Cup Characteristics: Tropical fruit, dark chocolate. It has the classic piquant acidity and lively winey flavor expected of the region's best coffees. Good solid, well priced coffee suited to single origin or blend component add smooth body and acidity where needed.
Roasting Notes: Dense, durable coffee that can be roasted well throughout the full range of darkness levels. Keep it light to accentuate brightness, sweetness and nuance. Go darker to develop chocolate notes and texture. This coffee is sturdy and bright enough to be a dark roast and still retain flavor and acidity with some individuality.
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.