If honey-toned vanilla wrapped in a plush body is on your coffee wish list, then this Costa Rican might be for you. Add to that a creamy sweetness, vibrant acidity and clean finish. This remarkable coffee comes from Hacienda La Amistad in southern Costa Rica. Located in Coto Brus, a canton in the province of Puntarenas, Hacienda La Amistad lies in an unusual region for coffee production.
While much of Costa Rica's coffee production comes from Tarrazú and the Central and West Valleys, Coto Brus lies in a more remote region in the far southwest. The La Amistad farm is located above 1200 meters near the border between Costa Rica and Panama, in the Talamanca Mountain Range on the border of La Amistad International Park.
Roberto Montero’s grandfather first came to the area in the early 1900’s as part of a team surveying the border and later purchased over 10,000 hectares of land to cultivate coffee. The farm has been family-run for generations and has kept much of the 20,000+ acres as a natural forest/conservation area. The estate is also one of the largest private nature reserves in Central America. La Amistad is home to hundreds of wildlife species that inhabit the surrounding rainforest.
The farm is mainly self-sufficient. The fresh and clean streams from the rainforest supply the water for washing the coffee as well as generating power to run the milling machinery on site. The plants and earthworms break down the waste from the animals, cherry pulp, ashes, and leaves to create a rich and organic fertilizer. The word Amistad translates to friendship; La Amistad farm is appropriately named as it is truly a friend to biodiversity.
Roberto’s commitment to responsible farming pairs with his commitment to community. During the coffee harvest, Roberto provides housing and free access to medical care for the workers, many of whom are indigenous people who bring their entire families along for the seasonal labor. Roberto also takes pride in his ability to provide more than 100 full-time jobs to his neighbors from Las Mellizas, not only in coffee cultivation, but also in the dried fruit operation that he operates year round at La Amistad.
Grower: Roberto Montero Zeledón, Hacienda La Amistad Variety: Caturra, Catuai Region: Coto Brus, Puntarenas, Costa Rica Harvest: October – February Altitude: 1,200 – 1,500 meters Soil: Volcanic loam Process: Fully washed and depulped after fermenting, then dried in the sun as well as in mechanical dryers