Taste The Rainbow | Costa Rica Five Pack
In Costa Rica’s Central Valley, coffee farmers are growing and experimenting, producing some of the best coffee in the world right now. ST. ALi took a trip to the source, on a mission to secure the best coffees of the season and bring them back to Australia.
ST. ALi’s Tayt and Lucy travelled to Costa Rica to visit two of the farms best-known for their quality and innovation, the Sonora Estate and the Vista al Valle farms, along with the families that run them. They had the opportunity to taste some incredible coffees and strengthen their relationship with these producers.
Vista al Valle, which translates to ‘view of the valley’, is run by the young and creative Jorge Luis Arrieta. This three-farm collective has garnered a reputation for quality and an impressive record of awards and acclaim for their coffee, including several Cup of Excellence placements, winning first place in 2013.
Cupping coffees as the sun sets over the valley, Lucy and Tayt knew right away how unique these samples were. The Vista al Valle Black Honey was ripe with flavours of sweet apple juice and candied orange.
At Sonora Estate, they sat for lunch with the Guardia family, their hospitality a testament to the 7-year strong relationship between producer and buyer.
“It’s rewarding to have these long-term relationships with our clients, who return every year for our coffees.”
Beers in hand, Alberto and Diego Guardia took the two on a tour of the extensive and innovative estate, telling the history of the farm and family.
A young sugarcane grower known for his rebellious spirit, Alberto Guardia started planting micro-lots of coffee on the steepest crops and hills around his estate. 45 years later, his left-field approach to farming continues to surprise. Now joined by his son Diego, the Guardia family work together to ensure the sustainability of their land and the quality of their crop.
Practising responsible farming, much of the land at Sonora is preserved for the native forest. Small pockets of coffee are grown amongst this, reducing the long-term environmental impact of the farm and helping to ensure the agricultural future of the region.
Sonora Estate also produces its own green energy for the farm using hydroelectric water mills. It’s this sense of responsibility to the land and to the community which drives the family to use only sustainable products and practices to enrich their soils and crops.
“Our goal is to have fun, meet great people from different parts of the world, have a positive impact on the environment and the people that surround our business, all while producing outstanding coffees.” Sonora’s Mission <block quote>
Growing eight varietals, including the rare SL28, Sonora Estate experiments with natural and honey processing, producing coffee with incredible complexity and flavour.
ST. ALi has selected four coffees from the Sonora Estate and one from Vista Al Valle to bring home, the Obata natural, the Red Catui, the Sarchimor Natural, the SL28, and Vista Al Valle Black Honey. These coffees showcase the best the central valley has to offer and we can’t wait for you to try them!