Region: Aquiares, Turrialba Altitude: 1,400 metres above sea level Varietal: Caturra Process: Washed and dried in mechanical dryers Producer: Robelo Family Certification: Rainforest Alliance
Aquiares has a balance of body and sweetness, with classic notes of butterscotch, chocolate and vanilla. Creamy mouthfeel and low in acidity. Recommended for Espresso machine, stove top and French Press.
This lot comes to us from the Robelo family in Turrialba, Costa Rica. The city of Turrialba is an agricultural town in the Province of Cartago, where the farmers grow vegetables and sugar cane as well as coffee.
Aquiares Estate is one of Costa Rica’s largest and most historic coffee farms, located high on the fertile slopes of Turrialba Volcano. Established by British farmers in 1890, Aquiares was one of the first estates to produce and export Costa Rican coffee. In 1971, the farm was purchased by its current owners - three families who have worked together with the community to implement a model of sustainable agriculture.
Today, the family-run farm manages the entire coffee production chain, from seedling production to plant cultivation, harvesting and milling. This ensures that they are able to meet the highest standards of quality assurance and guarantee a traceable product.
This lot is 100% ‘Caturra’ variety – a cultivar that is grown extensively on the estate. Turrialba’s climate is well-suited to growing this variety which together with Aquiares' high elevation (upwards of 1,200 masl) create ideal conditions for producing quality coffee.
Washed lots are floated in water tanks for density before being pulped to remove the fruit. In coffee, density is generally an indicator of quality. Damaged/defective cherries float to the surface and are separated from higher-quality cherries that sink to the bottom. The cherries are pulped a second time to remove the mucilage (a sticky coating outside the bean) before being dried in mechanical dryers at a constant temperature of 45˚C - 55˚C.
In order to thrive, high quality coffee requires specific growing conditions. However, these conditions are facing increased risks due to changing weather patterns resulting from climate change. As a Rainforest Alliance Certified farm, Aquiares is mitigating the effects of climate change by adapting their practices through strategies that aim to reduce water pollution, soil erosion, waste and water usage. Given that soil health is the most important factor for a successful farm, Aquiares adopts sustainable methods to naturally improve the farm’s volcanic soil.
In practical terms, this means that the organic matter from pruning and the leaf litter from the coffee and shade trees are left to feed soil microbes and provide organic nutrients which improve overall soil health. The diversified shade trees (over 40 species) also cool the ground, slowing the ripening of the coffee, which allows sugars from the mucilage to be fully absorbed by the bean, thus improving cup quality.
In recent years, Aquiares has made strides in achieving carbon neutrality and measures its greenhouse gas emissions to calculate its carbon emissions against its offsets. Join Aquiares GM, Diego Robelo as he discuss their approach towards sustainability at origin in this episode of the 5THWAVE Podcast (Timestamp: 10:01 - 19:25).