After nearly missing our connecting flight in Atlanta, and a 5 hour car ride once we landed, we were at Café Rivense de Chirripó.
The family is led by Regulo and Isabella Ureña. They have 4 sons between the ages of 21 - 30 (Ricardo, Mario, Esteban & Luis) and a teenage daughter named Tatiana. They are a lively bunch, with the eldest three sons working the coffee farms and processing with their father.
A New Beginning
They convinced their father to pursue an exportation license and to build their own wet and dry mill, which would allow for them to be in complete control of the entire process from nursery to exportation. This meant they could begin experimenting with new methods of processing (honeys, natural and anaerobic fermentations) and then find their own buyers around the globe.
At this point they can almost create whatever flavor profile they desire and then find a buyer for it. The demand is there and the quality of the coffee speaks for itself.
As we toured the two existing farms - Chirripó and Reniser - it was clear that they love experimenting. Geshas and unique varieties like Casiopea, Wush-Wush and Blue Mountain were everywhere, mixed in with classics like Red Catuai and Typica. Land for a third farm was recently purchased from a distant relative and we got to see traverse the freshly cut road up to where they plan to begin terracing and planting this year.
Bits and Bobs
David had an absolutely fantastic time! It was really wonderful to take him on his first out of country coffee adventure. He loved the family and loved popping ripe coffee cherries into his mouth at every turn.
I was reminded how much more developed Costa Rica is than its neighboring countries. I had not been in 11 years and I'm kind of kicking myself. For crying out loud, I drank the tap water and never got sick. That is a first for me. From the roads to the education system, to the budding retail coffee scene and the restaurants, everything was amazing. I'm stoked to return.
Coffees Coming Your Way
We have selected 6 different coffees to bring in their year. You can expect to see the first micro lots showing up sometime late Summer or early Fall. We will have one slated for Coffee of the Month sometime this year as well as perhaps one or two making their way into the Limited Release box line-up.