Origin: Costa Rica
Region: Santa Maria de Dota, Tarrazu
Altitude: 1900 masl
Processing: Anaerobic Natural, 4-5 days
Javier Solis - El Cedral, Anaerobic Natural
12 oz / 340 gm
Tasting Notes: Strawberry, Plum, Mango
Cedral means cedar tree in Spanish. This area was overrun by cedar trees in the past, but in the mid 1900s a large company from Spain came into the area and cut down the area where the farm resides today. Although that is quite sad, it is promising to see the Solis family re-planting and farming sustainably in the recuperating land. The micro climate coupled with the habitat that Alfonso has created by planting various other plants in order to produce excellent coffee is world class. High altitude, great cloud cover, strong sun rays, plenty of wind movement, and frequent rains lend well to the young catuai plants (only 7 years old!) growing in the fertile soil of the Dota Valley.
Aside from having a very biodiverse farm they do many things in the quest to manage the farm sustainably. They use the spent cascara from processing on their plants not only as fertilizer but also to maintain moisture in the soil. The elements in their soil are not quite balanced enough to produce the coffee that they are after and are high in potassium; so they put down boron and zinc in order to foster an ideal base for the farm. Alfonso fertilizes four times a year, which is exceptional yet requires a hefty investment, and they execute this practice after first analyzing the coffee leaves to understand what is needed for the trees. They use extremely few chemicals in the plantation and mostly keep any disease and weeds away by hand.
Process: The most mature cherries are used for the natural anaerobic process. The fruit is passed through a floating system which removes inferior product. Then, Javier places the coffee in a sealed, plastic tank in an area with low temperature and little to no exposure to sun. The fruit is allowed to ferment in this controlled environment anywhere between 4 or 5 days, before being taken out in order to dry. This has a pre-drying in patios for about 8 days where the cherries are moved only a few times during sun-light hours and then it is dried in the greenhouse for an additional 15 days where the coffees is turned frequently - about every hour.
Drying: Currently, Cedral houses 30 drying beds in their micromill and are planning to build 20 more as well as a concrete patio for pre-drying. They put their mucilage covered coffee seeds on the raised drying beds in a thin layer in order to avoid more fermentation and make sure to keep it moving/turned about every hour during daylight. The coffee takes 18-20 days to reach its ideal moisture content which is an impressively slow amount of time. This is due to the unique microclimate in their farm and we believe it translates to the high quality in their coffee.
Dry Milling: The Solis & Urena family chose to prepare their parchment coffees for export at a new and nearby mill in Santa Maria named Santa Fe. There is where the parchment got removed, the beans were screen sized over 15, density sorted, and finally sorted by hand to provide a clean and specialty preparation for export.
Origin: Costa Rica