Farm: San Cristobal del Llano
Varietal: Caturra & Catuaí
Processing: Natural; Dried on patios & finished in beds
Altitude: 1,700 meters above sea level
Owner: Danilo Salazar
Town / City: Zarcero
Region: West Valley
Overall: Mango, Strawberry, blueberry, cocao nibs
Danilo Salazar (San Cristobal del Llano) - Costa Rica
Danilo Salazar has been involved in coffee from birth. His small, 7 hectare farm – named San Cristobal del Llano - was originally his grandfather’s. As a child, he would help and play amongst the coffee trees that today he cares for, himself.
Danilo and his family are very involved in all the work that goes into the farm. They conduct many of the maintenance activities year-round, including monthly weeding and quarterly fertilisations. Once the harvest season ends, all the trees are pruned to eliminate old and damaged branches, open up the plants for sunlight and to mitigate diseases. During March through October, 4 foliar and soil fertilisations are conducted. At the beginning of November, additional weed control takes place to prepare the farm for another harvest.
This Caturra and Catuaí lot has been processed using the Natural method. Upon being selectively hand harvested, with only the ripest cherries being picked, the coffee is delivered on the same day to the nearby Café de Alturas de San Ramón Mill. Here, the cherry is received, sorted, weighed and then washed with clean water to eliminate any foreign matter. Immediately after washing, the cherries are taken to the patios for drying, where they are regularly turned and evenly dried for 15 to 20 days, depending on the sunlight. Once the coffee reaches the correct humidity, it is stored and rested until it is time to export.
Danilo works closely with the organisation that mills and markets his coffee - Café de Altura of San Ramón Especial S. A. - to ensure the high quality of his end product. Founded in 2004 by coffee growers from the San Ramón Canton and surrounding areas, Café de Altura de San Ramón has always sought to access specialty markets, obtaining the best possible price in order to both generate wellbeing for the producer and the community and to provide a good return for shareholders. Today the company processes, markets, exports and roasts specialty coffee along with providing a host of other services to members.
Today, the company processes coffee from 3,800 producers hailing from 4 different Costa Rican coffee regions. It is managed collectively by 590 member producers, most of whom are small- to medium-sized coffee growers. It’s original commitment to quality and customer satisfaction remains, despite its growth. As such, it only receives, processes and sells excellent coffee, from regions located over 1,000 meters above sea level with strict quality and farm management standards.
This extensive history and the group’s continued efforts has fostered an important reputation for the organisation. They have won prizes in various events and competitions, at national and international level, such as National Coffee Competition, Pacific Coast Coffee Association, Roaster Guild Cupping Pavilion Competition, Gold Harvest Auction, Q Auction, Sintercafé, Costa Rica Cup and, most impressively, multiple wins in the Cup of Excellence Costa Rica. Lots that they have processed have placed in no fewer than 11 Cup of Excellence competitions since 2007 and have won a Presidential Prize (a score of 90+) twice.
The organization has also achieved several certifications for management and Good Agricultural Practices, among them: C.A.F.E Practices, Rain Forest Alliance and Utz Certified. Its commitment to the protection of the environment and sustainable production is significant. This is, in part, the rationale in many of the trainings they provide to producers, most of which focus on using organic products that are effective and that can be made with the raw material that is discarded from their own farms.