The Costa Rican coffee industry is well regulated by the national body Icafe. Under Icafe’s watchful eye, farm workers are monitored and protected with minimum living standards and widely enforced minimum wages for all employees. This regulation has had two distinct impacts on the quality and type of coffee being produced in Costa Rica:
1. Quality has improved as the cost of production is estimated to be close to $2/lb – almost 25% higher than their Latin American counterparts. No longer able to compete on price with the high cost of land, living and employee wages, has forced producers to improve quality.
2. Costa Rica has become a boutique origin producing value-added coffees through experimental processing. No other origin we work in produces the diversity and quality of processing methods as Costa Rica. The quality of their naturals in particular is extraordinary, with a clarity and complexity that few of the worlds producers can match.
This microlot was processed using only the cherries harvested at peak maturation. The collectors then paid a higher price per cajuela to ensure the best quality. The coffee was then pulped using a depulper with a proportion of the honey being kept to and dried on raised beds in the sunshine. The coffee would then be carefully monitored and moved regularly until it reaches a moisture level of 11%.