This Java micro-lot comes from Las Alasitas, a small farm owned by Pedro Rodriguez. Las Alasitas is located in the colony of Bolinda, which lies in a lush, steep mountain valley around 10 kilometres outside of the town of Caranavi. Pedro has trialled several varieties on this farm, including Geisha, San Bernardo, Caturra and Java. This micro-lot is 100% Java.
The farm sits at about 1,642 metres above sea level and has incredible views over the Los Rodriguez farms and mountains beyond. The high altitude of Las Alasistas helps to ensure a slow maturation of the cherry because of the stable night-time temperature and mild day temperatures. The slow maturation leads to an increased concentration of sugars in the cherry and bean, which in turn helps to produce a sweeter cup of coffee.
At Las Alasitas, Pedro hires pickers from the Villa Rosario community to carefully handpick the coffee during the harvest. These pickers are trained to select only the very ripest cherries, and multiple passes are made through the farm throughout the harvest to ensure the coffee is picked at its prime. Selective picking is always very important and is particularly important for naturally processed lots like this one, to ensure a very sweet and clean cup.
After being picked and weighed, this coffee was carefully washed and laid out to dry on raised African beds and turned every hour. After about one week on the raised beds, the coffee was then placed in a coco dryer. We have not seen coco dryers used in coffee before, however, Pedro is always innovating and trialing different processing techniques. He has found that these driers help to dry the coffee slowly and consistently. The coffee sits in the large steel vats for around 35 hours at temperatures no higher than 40˚C, and turned every 30 minutes.