Beneficio Monte Brisas is a family-owned and operated mill in Zarcero de Alajuela. They process coffee from their three farms in Llano Bonito, Barranca and Cañuela. This lot was harvested from Finca Salaca in Llano Bonito. Finca Salaca is the family's largest farm and where they trial new varietals.
The name of the mill is a combination of the Salazar and Castro family names. Doña María Elena is the matriarch of Beneficio Monte Brisas. She takes care of all the agricultural and technical processes. The Zarcero area is well known for producing dairy products and, originally, the Salazar Castro family managed a dairy. It was Doña María Elena who decided to plant and invest in coffee and in 2011, the Salazar Castro family started to process their own coffee and established the Monte Brisas micro mill.
Doña María Elena is one of a collection of women within the industry who are leading the way in cultivating, processing and commercialising Costa Rican coffee. She manages the operation with assistance from her daughter-in-law, Marícruz. Her son, Luis, is a school teacher in the town of Zarcero but also assists in the running of the farms and mill during the high season. Doña María Elena is proud to form part of a strong representation of women in coffee in Costa Rica.