Shopping Cart

Costa Rica Sourcing Notes 2017

Posted by Oliver Stormshak on

Costa Rica Sourcing Notes 2017

As a coffee buyer, I fully admit to having a soft spot for Costa Rican coffees. This comes from my strong belief in supporting small scale coffee farmers and working directly with them to improve their lively hood. Costa Rica has shown the best examples for for supporting a middle class lifestyle and income for coffee farmers. All the producers we work with in Costa Rica are small businesses, focused on quality, and making a sustainable living in coffee. In so many ways its the perfect pairing for us.

Slight downfall to Costa Rican coffee is we struggle with being content with the quality. The coffee is “really good” “sweet” “balanced” but maybe a touch boring. Even with the customized work in processing like Honey’s, Natural’s, Kenya Washed, the coffees peak close to 90 points. If you compare them to some of our African options they seem nutty and bland.

But like I said, I love Costa Rica. Many other buyers love Costa Rica too. Costa Rica is easily accessible to the United States. And other International buyers love how organized, clean, safe, and relatively easy to work in it is. Honestly it’s getting to be a “Disney” like Origin. These ease and comfort has really pushed prices for the better Costa Rican coffees to be inflated. Most Costa Rican Micro Lots are 100% more expensive than a similar cupping coffee from another Central American Origin. I understand Costa Rica has the highest cost’s in Central America and it’s great to see farmers thrive so we have been keeping our boots on the ground in Costa Rica and gritting our teeth attempting to keep pushing the quality up.


La Pastora

We have been sourcing and partnering with Minor Esquivel at Micro Beneficio La Pastora for the last four years. La Pastora is really a father (Minor) and daughter (Nitzi) operation. Together they combine their 3 farms and process together. They currently harvest one farm at a time blending their Caturra and Catuai, creating Black Honey, Red Honey, Yellow Honey, Natural, and Kenya Washed processed coffee.


Our goal this year is to isolate each and every lot at La Pastora regardless of process. Once we do this separation will plan to cup each lot. After cupping each day lot we will choose our favorites from the harvest to roast and sell. We expect this new arrangement with the family will give us an edge to having the best quality lots from the Micro Mill.


La Perla del Cafe


La Perla del Cafe

La Perla Del Cafe, Costa Rica from Cafe Imports on Vimeo.


I’ve been visiting Carlos Barrantes and his brother Tono at Herbazu as long as I’ve been working in Costa Rica. Four years ago when Carlos left Herbazu to start his own Micro Mill La Perla del Cafe we almost started working with him rather than La Pastora as our standard Costa offering. Cafe Imports has gone in big with Carlos, and we are happy they found a main buyer. This year I knew I wanted some show stoppers from Costa Rica something super exotic, I reached out to Carlos and he offered us a chance to taste his SL-28 and Geisha along with some other test varieties and processes. I loved the SL-28 Washed and Geisha Honey. I’m happy to report we will be carrying both of these exotic coffees this year as part of our Reserve line.

Older Post Newer Post