2024 Upcoming Arrivals: Micro Lot Coffee from Costa Rica

You heard it’s Ethiopia season, but we have even more news to share: it’s also time for micro lot coffee from Costa Rica! Costa Rican micro lots have been a big focal point at Royal New York for the past few years. To continue that theme, Evan Kluender is here to update you on availability and share a few of our upcoming Costa Rican arrivals!

Sourcing Coffee from Costa Rica

Earlier this year, we took a trip down to Costa Rica to visit some of our producing and exporting partners. Costa Rica has always been known for producing great quality coffee. That being said, the country has seen an influx of new micro mills over the last couple of decades. These micro mills have pushed the boundaries of experimental coffee processing, producing some exceptionally unique coffees.

This year’s Costa Rican coffee harvests were impacted by excessive rainfall, resulting in early picking in much of the country. Even with the challenges presented by an early harvest, micro mill producers were still able to produce some truly special lots. In fact, we’re happy to report that the coffees we brought in this year are fantastic! We’re excited to give you a sneak peek into a few of these exceptional lots.

Upcoming Micro Lot Coffee from Costa Rica

cafe la cumbre coffee from costa rica

Café La Cumbre

Café La Cumbre has been in business for the last 90 years. For the majority of that time, they operated exclusively as coffee farmers. However, they’ve also made some pretty massive strides over the last few years toward establishing themselves as one of Costa Rica’s best micro mills. The business is run by Nancy and Minor Jiminez, 4th generation coffee producers. Three years ago, they decided to process their own coffee to make life easier for their three daughters. So, they got to work on their own custom coffee mill!

During that time, they built both a wet mill and a dry mill. Plus, they significantly ramped up their production to be able to process 4 of the 10 containers of coffee they produce yearly, which accounts for 100% of the coffee they export. Through their new milling operation, Café La Cumbre has been able to experiment with new processing methods. In turn, this has helped them greatly improve the quality of their coffee.

Environmental Efforts

Along with great quality coffee, Café La Cumbre operates with an environmentally-conscious mindset. They learned to recycle the water they use in their mill. Additionally, they went so far as to develop methods of honey processing that require no water at all!

By the same token, Minor Jiminez made improvements to his mechanical drying machine that allow him to control temperature and airflow. In doing so, he found that coffee dried in this machine actually comes out at a higher quality than coffee that is patio dried. Furthermore, they use coffee parchment to fuel the dryer’s burners. Then, they have a customer afterburner to eliminate the fumes. Finally, they use the ash from that furnace as fertilizer.

All of these efforts helped them achieve a ‘Bandera Azul Ecologica’ (Ecological Blue Ribbon), an award given to companies dedicated to mitigating and combating climate change.

Preview RNY # 56554 Costa Rica Café La Cumbre Natural

Las Lajas

Wife and husband duo Dona Francisca and Oscar Chacon own and operate Las Lajas. Though Oscar’s family has been producing coffee since the 1940s, it wasn’t until 2005 that they decided to start processing their own coffee. That year, they began Las Lajas and learned as much as possible about processing coffee. However, they ran into some mechanical difficulties when they started, meaning that they could only produce honey processed coffees. This was unusual at the time as coffee from Costa Rica was primarily produced with the washed processing method.

A few years later in 2009, a major earthquake cut off both the power and water supply to Las Lajas’ mill and family farms. Unfortunately, this happened during their coffee harvest. Even so, Dona Francisca and Oscar wanted to make sure their pickers were still being paid. They continued the harvest and piled up the freshly picked cherries until the power and water were restored a week later. As the cherries fermented over the course of that week, Las Lajas unintentionally produced their first natural lot! This launched what is now known as their “Perla Negra” line of natural processed coffees.

las lajas micro lot coffee from costa rica

Las Lajas in 2024

Fast forward to today, and Las Lajas is considered one of the best micro mills in Costa Rica. They process about 5 containers of coffee every year, all of which is grown on their family farms. Plus, almost all of their coffee is honey or natural processed. Dona Francisca and Oscar attribute much of their success to overcoming hardships and needing to find creative solutions to difficult problems. In short, their ingenuity and fine attention to detail has allowed them to really stand out, even in a country known for great coffee.

Preview RNY # 56535 Costa Rica Cumbres del Poas Red Honey Micro Lot

la candelilla estate micro lot coffee from colombia

La Candelilla

Founded in 2000, La Candelilla Estate was one of the first designated “micro mills” in Costa Rica. Located in Tarrazu, the estate is managed by 7 brothers and sisters. These 3rd generation coffee farmers are vertically integrated. This means that they can grow, process, and export all of their own coffee. Likewise, this allows the siblings to maintain a high level of control throughout the production process, and that care is evidenced by the quality of their coffees.

Preview RNY # 55758 Costa Rica “Las Hermanas de La Candelilla Estate” Natural

cafe de altura micro lot coffee from costa rica

Café de Altura de San Ramon

Café de Altura is a privately-owned exporting company that functions like a hybrid cooperative/employee-owned company. For instance, farmers can purchase shares of the company to become members and, in turn, become part of Café de Altura’s social responsibility program. In this program, a portion of every sale goes toward improving the quality of life for farmers. Through this program, they provide producers with free healthcare, housing, and support for those that struggle to make ends meet.

Equally important is their coffee production. Café de Altura only buys coffee for their micro lot program in whole cherry. This gives them full control over processing and allows them to ensure each coffee is given its best chance at achieving a high cupping score. Though infrequent, there are occasionally exceptions made to this rule. One such exception is Finca San Cristobal, a farm where Danilo Salazar grows and processes his own coffee. His coffee is outstanding, and his processing methods are largely responsible for his excellent cup quality.

Preview RNY # 56528 Costa Rica Danilo Salazar Finca San Cristobal Red Honey Micro Lot

Final Thoughts

We hope this preview into our upcoming micro lot coffee from Costa Rica has you as excited as we are! These are just a few of the offerings that will soon be available, but don’t wait too long to grab one. Our micro lot coffee from Costa Rica offerings fly off the shelves every year, so connect with your trader to learn about these coffees and more before they’re gone.

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