Origin: Costa Rica
Region: La Pastora, Tarrazu
Altitude: 1900-2200 masl
Processing: Double Washed, dried on raised beds.
Don Eli - Gesha, Anfiteatro
12 oz / 340 gm
Tasting Notes: Orange Blossom, Bergamot, Papaya
La Pastora is the premier farm of Don Eli and is highly sought after the world over - it produces the cream of the crop year after year. La Pastora is the name of one of the highest peaks in the Tarrazu growing region and is trademarked by the renowned CoopeTarrazu (which is why it cannot be printed on the jute bag or exported under this name). The mountain boasts extraordinary altitude up to 2200 masl and benefits from a unique microclimate resulting from surrounding peaks and the Pacific Ocean. Actually, a few short years ago farmers weren’t able to grow coffee in this area because it was too cold of an environment. Yet, with the climate changing, brave farmers willing to take a risk, and new varieties - the mountain has been developed into many outstanding coffee farms. Most of the farms found on La Pastora sell their fruit to CoopeTarrazu which combines the coffee to create a solid micro-region community lot, but when one is able to process micro-lots from this alp separately that’s when amazing things happen in the cup.
Carlos has always had his eye on the peak of La Pastora, but not necessarily for coffee production. His father, Eli, had his farm at the base of the mountain and taught Carlos how to care for plantations around the area. So, when an opportunity to purchase a farm near the highest point of La Pastora presented itself in 1990 - Carlos and his brothers knew they had to come together to buy it. The initial intention for the land was to produce a variety of apple called Ana. The brothers made a huge investment and dug large terraces in order to plant the trees. In a few short years the brothers were producing wonderful apples and Carlos would take his family down to the Capitol City’s farmers market where the uncommon fruit was beloved. Carlos was doing quite well for himself between the apples and the good prices he was getting for his coffee fruit at CoopeDota. Overtime, Carlos was able to buy out his other brothers and own the farm in its entirety.
Shortly after, the apple trees began to die. Carlos tried everything he could to save the farm without using chemicals, but there was a strong attack by a root eating insect that decimated the apple trees completely. Disheartened, Carlos started to think that it was time to sell the land and cut his losses. However, it proved difficult to market empty land in the middle of nowhere on top of a mountain. Carlos knew that in Tarrazu, it’s far more attractive to sell land with coffee planted on it and even though farmers thought it impossible to grow coffee in La Pastora at the time - he turned the apple farm into a coffee plantation. Soon, Carlos noticed that the catuai coffee trees did very well in this new environment and by the time they really started to produce he had already built the wet mill with his brothers. As they started processing the fantastic fruit from La Pastora local cuppers and international buyers began to take notice and Carlos found that he had to keep the farm.
The farm is split into two sections, Anfiteatro (or Amphitheater) and Manzanal (or Apple Orchard). When you first enter the farm you will notice the amphitheater or crescent shaped section named Anfiteatro. As you continue into the farm you will enter Manzanal where most of the apple trees were before and is actually shaped as an outward curve. The terraces the brothers dug into this farm resulted in large spaces between each coffee tree and we believe that this is a positive influence on the coffee’s quality. The age of the trees are also of help to quality and productivity at a mature 20/25 years old. The amount of sun as well as the filtering clouds in this area lends to a consistent yet gentle source of energy. As one climbs higher up the farm in La Pastora they’ll notice that Carlos had decided to experiment with planting Geisha and other varieties. Carlos, Marianela, and Jacob noticed how well the African lineage varieties grew in this climate and decided to continue planting it. A few years later, these rare varieties along with the original catuai coffees that come from La Pastora and are processed at the Don Eli wet mill have become world renowned!
Double Washed Process
Carlos’ son, Jacob, does all the processing for the coffee. The coffee is brought from the farm to the receiving tank and leaves the cherries overnight resting for approximately 12 hours, then the cherries are pulped as a full honey process, Jacob keeps the coffee in a fermentation tank for 30 hours with water - this encourages a fermentation that accentuates crisp, floral, fruit flavors and removes the mucilage from the seed. After this he washes the coffee several times until the mucilage is completely gone and then he leaves the beans in water for 12 more hours. This is an extremely demanding and intense processing technique that Don Eli only produces a small amount. Jacob dries the coffee in raised beds under shade for 5 days to protect the beans inside the parchment, after 5 days the coffee is dried in more direct sunlight until it reaches a moisture content of 10.5% for a total of 12-15 days of drying.
Origin: Costa Rica