Varietal: 100% Red Catuaí
Processing: Natural Process
Overall: Molasses, blackcurrant & juicy mouthfeel.
Finca El Mirador (West Valley) - Costa Rica
Born May 26th 1963, Don Olman Aguilera Chaves has lived all his life in Lourdes, Naranjo. He grew up at Finca El Mirador (whose name means ‘The Lookout’ after the beautiful views), helping his father farm the land as he got older. His father, Pedri Aguilera Arias, bought this beautiful piece of land, which lies along 15 hectares at around 1,400 meters, after years of hard work and stringent savings (local banks helped a bit, too, by providing financing). Don Olman knew that when the time came, the farm was his father’s legacy, and it was his duty to preserve it and add to it for his own children.
Don Olman married Margot Chaves Aguilera and, together, they raised two children, a boy and a girl, both of whom are now 100% dedicated to carrying on this legacy. They aren’t alone! Together, Don Olman, his 9 brothers and their families manage around 45 hectares in this privileged area of Costa Rican’s West Valley.
Despite his success, Don Olman is a very humble person whose goal in life is to be able to give his kids a good life and raise them how he was raised.
Don Olman and his family are very involved in all the work that goes into the farm. They only have three permanent employees who help with all the maintenance activities year-round. 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, weed control takes place to prepare the farm for another harvest. During the harvest itself, up to 40 individuals are hired to help out.
This lot of 100% Red Catuaí 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 La Eva 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. Milling coffee is very slow and complicated, takes a lot of hours but the end product tends to be really good.
In the future, the family are interested in introducing different varieties and further emphasis on quality so that they are able to offer buyers a bigger selection of coffees for future crops.