Thumbnail Filmstrip of Costa Rica La Minita Tarrazu Images
Arrived May 2023, new crop, in grainpro. La Minita's flagship coffee
seems especially nice this year, clean and effervescent. This coffee is
simply terrific and thoroughly enjoyable. La Minita has always prided
itself on being amongst the most fastidiously grown and prepared
coffees in the world. The La Minita plantation is set on 700 acres in
the steeply graded, hilly Tarrazu region, with elevations between
4,000 to 7,000 feet. The farm produces several qualities of coffee but
this signature coffee, La Minita Tarrazu, has very limited production,
about 1700 bags annually. The attention to detail is extreme,
beginning with what they describe as backyard gardening techniques on a
large scale, as all the work is done by hand.
Hacienda La Minita was founded in 1985 by Bill McAlpin, the goal was to
create a coffee of the highest quality year-in and year-out. This is the same year in Willoughby's Coffee & Tea opened its doors. Bill was determined to grow amazing coffee. and his vision was to produce a
coffee that was grown, nurtured, harvested, milled, and prepared for
export under one roof. That concept was unique at the time, an early adventure in the pursuit of quality coffee.
Arabica varietals planted are Typica and Caturra, which grow optimally here. Each tree is picked four times and farm management is almost obsessive that cherries be fully ripened before harvesting. Every aspect of washed processing and milling takes place on the farm under watchful supervision: fermentation, washing, drying (in the sun unless weather makes it impossible), resting, milling, polishing. Before the coffee is bagged it goes through a final, special hand sorting to remove any remaining defects. This final sort is so labor intensive that a worker can do no more than 50 pounds in a day.
The farms and mills owned by La Minita are all Rainforest Alliance certified because they feel its strict environmental and social standards are aligned with their farm and mill practices. The Rainforest Alliance certification for coffee is built on sustainable farming principles and encompasses a range of social and environmental requirements. A couple examples of the requirements to achieve this certification are proper cleaning of coffee wastewater, forest canopy biodiversity, access to safe drinking water, healthcare, and education for farm workers, and payment of at least the legal minimum wage for workers.
Baby trees on terraces as part of the continual replanting at La Minita