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Clifton Coffee - Costa Rica: Finca Haceinda Valerio (Natural)

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A super rich & sweet natural process coffee that works well with all brew methods. In the cup look for a clean honeysuckle sweetness with a soft peach acidity, raspberry, apricot and juicy mouthfeel.

One of two lots we’ve bought from producer Juan Carlos Valerio, the owner and manager of this 49 hectare farm, spread picturesquely over the crest of the mountain ridge in San Luis de Grecia located in Costa Rica’s West Valley.
The farm itself sits at around 1,500 metres above sea level and benefits from rich volcanic soil and a perfect, natural climate for coffee farming. With Poas Volcano looming overhead, Juan’s coffee farm grows with one side facing east, the other west, then continues down the ridge towards the valley towards the town of San Jose.

In 2010, without any prior coffee experience, Juan Carlos agreed to take on the responsibility of running the farm that belonged to his father-in-law, which had been in the family for 70 years. No one else in the family was much interested in continuing to farm coffee, and the land had sadly fallen into neglect. Rehabilitating the farm required careful consideration and a pragmatic approach if Juan Carlos were to turn things around. Teaming up with Marco Corrales Bolanos, Juan Carlos’ right hand man and something of an operations manager of the farm, the pair has drawn on technical advice from all sides to approach the challenge of renovating a section of the farm each year, ‘poco-a-poco’ (little by little) returning the farm to its former glory. Walking through the farm in January 2015, it is fascinating to compare the renovated plots of uniform, healthy trees of 1 to 5 years of age with those few plots that are yet to be renovated; these latter parcels of land remain unused and heavily overgrown with weeds. This vision is a marker of how far Juan Carlos and Marco have come.

Looking towards the future, Juan Carlos recognises the changing market conditions and the growing demand for specialty coffee. He not only plans to continue to improving his cultivation techniques and practices, he also has big plans to build a micromill in the years to come.

On days that this microlot coffee is picked, the pickers are given a higher wage per cajuela (basket) to pick only the maduro puro (pure ripe) cherries. The day’s picking is then delivered to the on-site receiving station, where it is checked for quality, sorted and measured by volume. A truck sits at the bottom of the chute, ready to carry the fruit directly to the micro mill.

Altitude: 1500 meters above sea level
Farm/Coop: Hacienda Valerio
Great for: Aeropress, Cafetiere, Espresso, Filter, Milky, With milk
Origin: Central America/Costa Rica - San Luis de Grecia, Grecia, West Valley
Owner: Juan Carlos Valerio
Process Method: Natural (Dry)
Tasting Notes: Super rich & sweet. Clean honeysuckle sweetness with a soft peach acidity, raspberry, apricot and juicy mouthfeel.
Varietals: Caturra, Catuai & Villa Sarchi

Roasterr: Clifton Coffee

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Initial collection: Clifton Coffee Roasters - Bristol

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Tasting record

Method Dose Grind Time Volume Comments
e.g. Espresso 18g Vario 1E 25secs 30ml A bit finer next time would be better.