Beneficio El Pilon
San Isidro, Leon Cortez, Tarrazu, Costa Rica
Three years into processing and El Pilon is still something of an oddity in Costa Rica. El Pilon only produces naturally processed coffees meaning that the ripe coffee cherries are rinsed off in their "wet mill" without damaging the cherry husk and then laid out on raised African beds to dry naturally in the sunlight. In a nation where everyone else is focused mainly on washed processing, this is an oddity - but one that we like immensely!
It's our second year working with the Ureña Family and even though we were only able to stop by El Pilon for a short time (due to my flight leaving San Jose a bit early), it's always good to see Edgar and his family. A Note: some of you who remember this coffee from last year may have noticed that the beneficio has undergone a change in ownership. Refrain Mendez has since left the ownership of the beneficio.
While there, the entire family was busy processing, raking, bagging and roasting coffee. El Pilon is a small but busy place this time of year. Edgar showed us some of the bio-mix that they've been growing at the farm as a form of fertilizer. It's organic in nature and should prove to be highly beneficial to the coffee trees in keeping them healthy, robust and pest resistant.
Our Lot Edgar comes from the family farm: Finca San Isidro. The coffee is processed on dry beds for 17 days and hand raked every hour until the coffee reaches the desired humidity level of 9.5-10.5%. Production for this season is expected to reach 200 fanegas (1 fang = 46 kilos), which is roughly equivalent to 200 quintales (the measurement used in most Spanish-speaking coffee countries) or just over 20,000 pounds.
But making great natural processed coffee is a path ripe with doom and destruction. Mold, mildew and simple fruit rot await the farmer who isn't bringing his "A" game. The coffee is dried on raised nylon mesh beds and must be raked and turned every hour to ensure even and proper drying. Attention to mundane detail is a must. Every hour the rakes go back and forth, back and forth. It's droning, tedious and even monotonous work. Rake on. Rake off. Day after day, it continues to absolute perfection.
This years coffee comes off with muted brightness, a solid rounded body and notes of jam-y berry fruits.
2016 El Pilon Finca San Isidro Natural Catuai Lot Edgar
Producers: Edgar Ureña
Region: San Isidro, San Pablo de Leon Cortez, Costa Rica
Elevation: 1600-1750 masl
Manzanas: 9 (18 hectares)
Harvest: January 2016
Style: Shade grown
Processing: Natural Process
Varietal: Red Catuai
2016 El Pilon Natural Catuai - Costa Rica
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.