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Costa Rica Tarrazu La Minita
Grown between 3,750 ft and 5,000 ft altitude, this coffee crop is amazing.
About 1,700,000 coffee trees grow on the farm, and they are allowed to live 15 to 20 years before being replaced. There is a constant cycle of planting and replacing so that the crop is consistent. Each year approximately 350,000 trees are pruned and 150,000 trees are planted.
Shade trees are planted next to the rows of coffee to provide habitat for birds and just the right amount of filtered sunlight.
Only one crop of coffee is produced each year. Herbicides are not used to control the weeds at La Minita, but instead the workers use machetes to clear the weeds by hand. Chemical influences are not introduced on the farm, it is the worker’s home and an ecosystem of plants, animals and people that doesn’t need chemicals. Each year, every acre of the farm is weeded three times.
Insecticides are not used on the farm. The high altitude limits the number of insect pests. Most importantly, through the careful cultivation and weeding techniques, the coffee trees are strong and healthy. The few pests that do show up do not significantly affect the trees.
The harvesting of the fruit is performed carefully. Only the ripe fruit is picked, leaving the still unripe fruit for subsequent pickings. Workers pick each tree on the farm five times over 8 weeks to harvest the fruit at the exact prime ripeness.
After all that, the coffee is processed in exact methods with extreme care and sorted many, many times. By the time it’s done, only 23% of the farm’s coffee passes all the tests to be labeled ”La Minita” It is the very very best of the very best.
80 full time employees and 750 parttime workers are employed.
The farm actively supports them outside of working hours by contributing matching funds to savings plans, organizing bus trips, funding sports programs, offering a bulk store of inexpensive goods, growing fresh vegetables and fruit on the farm and a free doctor and dentist on site.
Coffee Review scores coffees on the traditional 100 point scale, and have given this coffee the highest rating ever given, of 95. They sample it most years and rate it at least a 92 every year. The 2009 crop was mildly disappointing with faint traces of sour lemon, but the 2010 crop is back to normal, tasting sweet and clean. If not the best coffee in the world, it is, at the very least, the best value. A similarly tasting coffee of this caliber typically retails for $40 a pound. We are getting it farm-direct at great-discount, and passing the bargain on to you! Enjoy!