Single Estate Coffee - COSTA RICA, El Congo, Santa Maria de Dota
Producer: Finca El Congo - Roger Urena.
Growing altitude: 1800-2000m above sea level.
Botanical variety: Geisha.
Tasting notes: Floral, jasmine, passion fruit, aromatic violet flavours.
Roast date: 06 November, 2018
Roger Urena has been involved in coffee farming since he was a child, his grand-parents and parents were coffee farmers and taught him how to work the land. In his own words he thinks that to grow coffee in Tarrazú becomes a common activity that has been transmitted from family to family for years, since it is a good source of income and family progress.
Since Roger was little he had to work helping his father in the dairy and coffee activities, and at the same time finish his studies (secondary education). At the age of 15 he started working in coffee by himself, making a coffee nursery, and there he started to grow his first coffee plantation.
In 1987 Roger went to work in the United States to save money, this way he could invest in some business back home, which he focused in growing coffee and from there on he increased his coffee plantations. But it was not until two years ago that he decided to process his own coffee at Santa Teresa Micro-Mill because the prices the Cooperative were giving him weren’t a sustainable business for him any more.
Roger acquired Santa Teresa farm 6 years ago, its altitude goes from 1900 mail up to 2050 masl. It has a total of 60 hectares but the area where coffee is planted is just 9 hectares, most of the land is protected forest. In this farm he decided to build a Penagos wet mill, raised beds in a greenhouse, patios and a warehouse. He decided to plant different varieties since he realized there weren’t many farmers planting different varieties other than Catuai and Caturra in Costa Rica and he realized there is market for exotic and different varieties. Therefore in this 9 hectares he has been growing different varieties like: Rume Sudan, Pacamara, Villalobos, Bourbon, Geisha, some kind of mutated Geisha that locals named “Typica Mejorado”, Catuai. He has also just started to grow SL-28 because he believes at this altitudes SL-28 can be successful.
Besides Santa Teresa Roger owns other farms: El Cedral, La Viuda, Nubes, Pinata, Tono, El Bajo, El Vapor, Las Flores, La Montana, El Puente, El Congo and Honduras but he also sometimes buys coffee cherries from his relatives or people he trust and at the same time have good potential in their farms, like San Pedro farm.
After he processes the coffee in the Penagos eco pulper, he takes the coffee to the raised beds or patios. Usually he dries the best coffees in the raised beds and when he doesn’t have space in the African beds he uses the Patios, but he tries to dry most of his coffees in raised beds. Most of his coffees he does as White-honeys or Washed and for this type of process it takes around 10-15 days to get the beans to the right moisture content to store in the warehouse.
The farms are part of a government program for agriculture and sustainability called Bandera Azul program. Last year they started with the process to get the Carbon Neutral certification, that is part of the ICAFE Program NAMA Cafe. Which is very important to guarantee 0 carbon emissions as part of the environmental practices they do at Roger’s farms.