Nestled in the heart of Central America, Costa Rica is one of the most politically stable countries with one of the highest standards of living. The coffee industry there is well regulated and farmers are protected with minimum living standards – as a result, farmers here can’t compete with neighbouring countries on price, which has led to much higher quality specialty coffees being produced in the area. Now known as a boutique origin, producers in Costa Rica are renowned for their beautiful coffees and experimental processing.
The Camacho family have been farming coffee at El Cipres since 1939 and are committed to constantly improving their practices. They shade grow their coffee using a variety of plants and trees (including orange, avocado and cedar), which also serves to provide food and shelter for native birds of the region. They also take care to control weeds and only use sustainable fertilisers on their crops. Jesus Mora Camacho inherited the land from his father in 1936, and has since become an environmental custodian for his land – he has even left approximately 20% of his land to return to native forest and has replanted areas around streams to protect water quality. The family is also incredibly dedicated to its seasonal workers, helping to pay for their transport costs to the farm and letting them harvest fruit from the trees for their own consumption – in his own words, ” the land is for all of us, anybody who is with us may share the benefits of it”.
As one of the first families to settle in Llano Bonito de Leon Cortes, the Camacho family has dedicated themselves to coffee farming and agriculture with a focus on producing high-end specialty coffee. Whereas SHB grade beans from Costa Rica can sometimes be quite bland, the honey process allows the bean to develop a sweeter, richer flavour – which in this case has created a fruity, creamy coffee for you to enjoy! Once they are harvested, the beans are only semi-washed (leaving some of the ‘honey’ on the bean) and then left to dry in the sun. It is the remaining fruit that gives the coffee its rich body.
The Camacho family processes its coffee with the Beneficio AFAORCA (The Association of Organic Families of the Caraigres Hills), an organisation that aims to improve the livelihoods of its members, while also improving the production, processing, marketing and legislation of organic coffee in the Tarrazú Valley. In the off season, they educate the local populations about the benefits of organic produce and even offer work to coffee producers in their local café in Tarbaca.
These beans suit all brewing styles well, though filter will more strongly enhance the sweet fruity notes, while cafetiere brings out more body in the coffee