Costa Rica | Don Alfonso series: #2 Thermic

Regular price $28.00
Unit price
per 

Region: Aquiares, Turrialba
Altitude: 1200-1,400 metres above sea level
Varietal: Esperanza
Process: Thermic Anaerobic Natural
Producer: Robelo Family

The ‘Don Alfonso’ micro-lot series is a limited-release that represents the best of the harvest from Aquiares Estate in Turrialba, Costa Rica. Thermic is the second of two micro-lots, in this feature series.

Lot #2 is a 100% "Esperanza" variety, processed using a new and experimental thermic anaerobic method which lends the cup an extremely sweet and fruity flavour profile.

This coffee is vibrant and distinct, with passionfruit and dried persimmon providing heavy sweetness and rich vanilla on the finish. 

Recommended for all filter brew methods. Pura Vida!

Origin Story
This lot comes to us from the Robelo family in Turrialba, Costa Rica. Over 900 hectares of the land is in production, making Aquiares one of the largest estates in Costa Rica. For over a century, the farm has developed an enduring model for growing high-quality coffee, protecting the stunning natural setting, and supporting a thriving local community of 1,800 people. Coffee plots here are protected by large preserved forests, providing a healthy environment for the local animals, birds, and plants

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 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.
Processing
Lot #2 is a 100% "Esperanza" variety - a hybrid of Sarchimor and Ethiopia 531 cultivars, developed by various Central American coffee research institutes and unique to Aquiares Estate. Esperanza marries cup quality with high resistance to disease.

This particular lot has been produced using a special Thermic Anaerobic Natural method.

The process starts by hand-harvesting the cherries at their ripest, with the highest possible sugar content. The cherries are transferred to heat insulation cylinders and sealed to create an anaerobic environment. These cylinders are then placed inside the greenhouses where they are heated by the sun to promote "thermic" fermentation of the coffee cherries.

Heat exposure promotes the breakdown of natural sugars in the coffee, enhancing its natural sweetness and fruit flavours. The fermentation process takes a minimum of 3 days to finish with close monitoring of temperature and pH levels throughout. Once fermentation is completed, the cylinders are unsealed and the cherries taken to the drying stations.

For this particular lot, cherries are sun dried for 15 days, before being collected and re-sealed in bags for a period of three months to rest.

Environmental Stewardship feat. podcast with Diego Robelo of Aquiares Estate.
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. 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).