Costa Rica- Finca Frailes

Notes: Apple pie, Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Lemon, Plum, Sweet & Sugary
Owner: Gerardo Calvo, Zaira Marín & William Méndez
Altitude: 1500-1600 MASL
Process: Red Honey
The cherries for this lot were cultivated on Finca Frailes by three close friends and lifelong coffee producers, Gerardo Calvo, Zaira Marín and William Méndez. The three co-own and manage Finca Frailes.
The trio planted coffee on Finca Frailes over 30 years ago and have used a regular renovation plan to maintain the farm’s health and productivity. They focus on growing Caturra and Catuai.
At the mill, they measure cherries by the half fanega (approximately 46 kg). The mill sorts cherries visually and then floats cherry to remove lights.
Then, the pulper separates unripe cherry by passing all cherry through a screen called “criba.” Unripe cherry is separated and sold as lower grades.
This coffee was honey processed, so only the skin was mechanically removed. With the mucilage intact, the beans are moved to the drying patios through a tube. On the patios the coffee is moved every hour to ensure uniform drying. Average drying time on the patio is around 8 days.
Palmichal micro-mill is an important partner for many specialty coffee producers in the Palmichal, Puriscal, Tarrazu and Frailes micro-regions in Costa Rica. Located in Palmichal, Costa Rica, the micro-mill began in the 2015-2016 harvest with 30 participating farmers participating. 
The mill strives to serve farmers who grow unique coffees and quality-conscious importers & micro-roasters. They process cherry using meticulous quality-focused processing techniques. Their small-scale, artisanal model enables them to match coffees from smallholder farmers to roasters with specific quality and process requirements all while maintaining economic and physical traceability. 
The mill has patios and elevated beds to enable various kinds of drying. It is able to process coffees as Fully washed conventional and a variety of certifications and grades of Naturals and Honeys. The mill boasts 23 solar panels that generate 5.0 kWp. Due to its modular setup, the micro-mill can easily continue growing to match demand.  
The mill’s nursery has over 330,000 plants and counting, making it one of the largest coffee nurseries in the county. The Palmichal nursery sells the plants to producers at cost to make it easier for farmers to renovate their rootstock. It also gives farmers the opportunity to finance against their future crops.

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