At Huckleberry, we work to guarantee environmental and socioeconomic sustainability throughout the supply chain. We work with importers and exporters who provide transparency and can ensure the wellbeing of all those involved. We have several direct relationships with farmers and millers including our Burundi coffees from Long Miles Coffee Project and our Guatemalan coffees from the AProCafe cooperative to mention a couple. This year, we are excited to release two coffees from CoopeDota in the Dota region of Costa Rica.
The View From Intake at CoopeDota
Back in February I had the privilege of visiting Costa Rica and more specifically, the CoopeDota mill. We finished the tour of the mill with a cupping which is where I discovered both of our lots from Dota this year -- the El Cedral and the Santa Maria (though I didn't realize until recently that I tasted the Santa Maria on the same table as the El Cedral). Before we get to our coffees, I feel it’s important to note just how incredible this cooperative is.
Ferris Wheel Raised Beds for Drying
In 2011, CoopeDota was recognized as the world’s first carbon neutral coffee producer. The farm generates the energy for its mechanical driers by using coffee waste by-products. They also generate energy through the use of a biodigester. A biodigester takes waste material, mixes in microorganisms in an anaerobic environment and produces renewable biogas. Water consumption at the mill is also minimal due to the use of eco-pulpers and processing methods that require little to no water. The cooperative provides its 850 members with wet and dry milling services, but their community initiatives reach far beyond coffee. CoopeDota manages trash pickup in the city of Santa Maria de Dota and is continually working to develop ways to repurpose trash into renewable energy.
I was lucky enough to be in Costa Rica with Jen Apodaca from Royal Coffee San Francisco, because after tasting the coffee all I had to do was turn to her and ask if she would be willing to import the coffee for us. It’s not always that easy. So without further ado, our two coffees from CoopeDota this year -- El Cedral and Santa Maria.
CoopeDotas Beautiful Cupping Table Where I First Tasted the El Cedral
Santa Maria is an eco-pulped coffee, meaning that the cherries are run through a de-pulper that uses substantially less water than traditional washed process coffees. The seeds are then dried in the sun before being moved to guardiolas (mechanical driers). The Santa Maria consists of coffee grown by the many members of the cooperative between 1550 - 1950 MASL. The end result is a beautiful, clean, and approachable coffee with notes of red grape, nougat, mandarin orange, and walnut.
El Cedral is a natural coffee meaning that the seeds are dried inside the cherry. This type of processing is less common in Central America, but increasing in popularity. We carry lots of natural processed coffees at Huckleberry, but until now they have exclusively come from Africa -- like the Ardi and Wenago from Ethiopia and the Gitwe from Burundi. El Cedral is a single farm, owned and operated by CoopeDota. The farm acts as the model farm for the cooperative and sits at 1900 MASL -- quite high for Costa Rica. The El Cedral we purchased was an experimental lot of Catuai, naturally processed with immense attention to detail. The results are clear. This is one of the cleanest and tastiest naturally processed coffees I have had the opportunity to try. You can expect notes of strawberry, lemonade, pineapple, and almond pastry.
Costa Rica is an incredible coffee growing country and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to visit incredible mills and farms while I was there. If you’d like to know more about the coffee model in the country I wrote a post on it a while back. We are extremely excited to be working with CoopeDota and are inspired by their continued efforts with environmental and socioeconomic sustainability, along with the seriously tasty coffee they are producing. You can expect these coffees to be available on our website and in the cafe by the end of the month. I’ll drink to that.
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