REGION: Palomo FARM: Río Grande de Orosí Farm FARMER: Sustainable Management Services
VARIETAL: Starmaya ALTITUDE: 1150 M PROCESS: Washed
Roasted Flavor Notes: This Costa Rican Washed coffee has a good balance of green grape, with a golden raisin sweetness and a cacao nibs finish.
Río Grande de Orosí farm is a perfect example of the farm management program of our sister company, Sustainable Management Services. In 2013, the owner of Río Grande de Orosí farm could not take care of the farm due to economic issues and his sons did not want to continue with the management. At this point, ECOM’s Sustainable Management Services Farm management division (SMS) was hired to manage, market, and maintain the farm. Since then, SMS has taken special care of the farm and it is now a role model for the SMS Farm Management project.
Río Grande came to show the long standing producers of the region that good quality could be obtained with adequate management and using new varieties. The profile of the farm is outstanding compared to the local standard. The farm has made huge investment in experimental varieties with high productivity and quality, such as Starmaya. Starmaya is a hybrid that comes from the crossing of Marsellesa and a natural wild mutant of Ethiopian and Sudanese varieties. Most notably, this hybrid resists leaf rust, is high yielding, and produces generally higher acidity in the cup. Starmaya is also the first F1 (first generation) coffee hybrid to be propagated by seed. At Río Grande de Orosí farm, SMS uses shade canopy and top of the line fertilization methods to yield the best results from this already great varietal.
This specific lot of coffee was planted in 2015 on 5 hectares of land and only has 15 bags available in the world. This lot and about 30% of the farm's entire production for 2018-19 harvest was sold at the Costa Rican micro-lot level. This is an amazing feat for any farm, let alone one from an area not historically known as a prime growing area.
This coffee, as with all SMS produced micro-lots was processed at ECOM's Pitalillo wet mill in Tres Rios. Now surrounded by shopping malls and business complexes, Tres Rios used to be one of the largest coffee growing regions in Costa Rica. Through recent decades, and urban expansion, Pitalillo mill is one of the last remaining relics of this area's illustrious coffee production history. Conveniently located just behind Cafinter's office (ECOM Costa Rica) Pitalillo wet mill is now being re-purposed for SMS's microlot production to bring fame back to the once-thriving mill.
This lot of coffee was processed in the washed method. At Pitalillo mill this means the coffee was mechanically pulped and demucilaged in order to conserve water. After the majority of pulp is removed this way, the coffee is traditionally washed with a small amount of water to ensure the coffee is 100% clean. After the washing process the coffee is sun dried on patios or raised beds and turned constantly to ensure even drying.