Santa Rosa 1900 La Plaza
Efrain & Gelberth Naranjo
Santa Rosa de Leon, Cortes, Tarrazu, Costa Rica
One of the most celebrated of growing regions, Tarrazu is in the western part of the Cordillera de Talamanca mountain range that runs through most of Costa Rica and Panama - featuring some of the highest peaks in Central America. The high altitudes of the Tarrazu region promote slow maturation of the coffee cherry because of cloud coverage owing to the regions proximity between the Carribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
Nestled within Tarrazu, near the village of Santa Rosa de Leon Cortes, is the stunningly pretty Beneficio Santa Rosa 1900. When standing at the micro mill, it's as though you're standing on the edge of the world - or at least the Tarrazu valley. Down the narrow dirt road up to the mill itself is like driving along a finger of earth, sticking out against the odds and everywhere you turn is a brilliant view. The mill itself is small, lending itself to the term "micro" and the father and son team of "Macho" and Gelberth produce some of the finest coffees in the Tarrazu region. Here at Santa Rosa 1900, the first quality coffees are dried on African-style raised beds underneath the warm Costa Rican sun. Seconds are dried in large dryers called guardiolas.
Finca La Plaza is the farm immediately adjacent to the micro mill, making everything compact and efficient. The Naranjo family runs three other farms in addition to La Plaza and utilize only the most quality-focused production techniques growing Catuai and Bourbon varietals. The coffees grown by the Naranjo family are truly special coffees. Owing in part to the high altitude, it can take up to eight years for coffee trees to mature, instead of the usual 4-5 years at most farms. The higher elevation also means it can take an addition month or two for the cherries to ripen and up to 20 days to dry (compared to ten days at lower levels). An additional benefit of such high grown coffee is that the pests and disease that strike at lower altitudes do not fare well up here and are not part of the calculus when you're growing coffee at 2000 meters. Combine these factors with the careful growing, selective picking and meticulous processing, and you can see why the Naranjos produce some truly excellent coffee.
Boasting 14 manzanas with plantings of 3,000 coffee trees, La Plaza is still a small coffee farm. Coffee cherry harvests are measured in terms of cajuelas, which is equivalent to about 25 pounds with each picker being paid US$3.00 per cajuela, plus an additional US$1.50 per cajuela being paid to the social security system, making Costa Rica the most costly place in Central America to produce coffee (and probably one of the most expensive places in the world, not counting nations such as the United States). In Costa Rica, a good picker can be expected to harvest about 100-150 pounds of coffee cherry per day.
This La Plaza coffee was picked at the peak of ripeness, separated into microlots based on manzana per harvest day. The cherries are stripped mechanically of their husks and mucilage and then laid out on raised drying beds in the open sun for upwards of 15 days until they reach the desired moisture content of 10-11% moisture. Once they have reached this stage, a representative sample of that lot is pulled, the parchment covering the green beans are milled off and that day's sample is roasted and tasted before being blended into microlots that were offered for our selection.
On the palate, the La Plaza is warm with a woodsy character that's reminiscent of Spanish cedar. A light bodied coffee that's slightly bright and very smooth and easy to drink. In some ways, the coffee seems fleeting. It's almost as though you taste the coffee and when "whoosh," it's gone, finishing clean and lively with a slight juiciness that calls to mind a Jolly Rancher candy.
2015 Santa Rosa 1900 La Plaza DFW
Producers: Efrain "Macho" Naranjo & Gelberth Naranjo
Region: Santa Rosa de Leon, Cortez, Tarrazu, Costa Rica
Elevation: 1850-2025 masl
Harvest: February 2015
Style: Shade grown
Processing: Dry Process
Varietal: Catuai, Bourbon
2015 Santa Rosa 1900 La Plaza DFW
Whole Bean - 10 ounces
Please Note: Our Sproastery works on a weekly roasting schedule to provide the freshest coffee possible. Currently, our roast day is on Tuesdays. Our coffees are roasted on Tuesday and shipped out by Wednesday for weekday delivery. Please place your orders by midnight Monday night so that we can accommodate your order in our production schedule. Thank you.