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La candelilla (front)
  • La candelilla (front)
  • La Candelilla (rear)
  • La Candelilla (story)

La Candelilla - Costa Rica

250 gr

QUALITY SCORE: 88.25

Cup Notes
Orange blossom / Melon / Caramel / Dates / Nuts

Suggested for espresso and filter

€14.00

when we roast

We freshly roast to order all coffees on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding national holidays), and ship the same day! Cut-off time is 6:00pm (UTC+1) of the day before the roast day.

Technical detail

Producer
Sanchez family
Country
Costa Rica
Terroir
Tarrazu
Elevation
1500 mt
Fermentation
Classic Natural
Cultivar
Caturra, Catuai
Picked in
Dec 2018 - Feb 2019
Landed in
August 2019
Lot Size
3450 kg.
Arrived in
GrainPro bags
Roast profile by
Rubens Gardelli
Roasted on
Customised roaster

THE STORY BEHIND

La Candelilla Estate Tarrazú Coffee Mill is located in a small town called San Marcos, in the highland valley of Tarrazú surrounded by mountains; in the southwestern region of Costa Rica. La Candelilla Estate is situated only 20 minutes from San Marcos downtown, an area that reflects the history of the country and its beginnings. This region combines breathtaking scenery with great coffee and a rich history. Tarrazú is a rural community noted throughout the world for its traditional values and its leadership in growing fine Estate coffees. This highland valley also stands out because of its abundant natural beauty and bountiful resources.  Majestic Mountains, scenic forests, rolling hills and a verdant valley characterize the land and provide a changing kaleidoscope of beauty both in the dry and rainy seasons.

The Estate “candelilla” was named after the fireflies that light up the nearby creek on summer nights, “candelilla” is the word that locals use to refer to fireflies in the region.

It all started in the Candelilla Estate when the Sanchez’s family, a third generation of coffee producers, decided to go further into coffee business by processing their own coffee. The goal was to capture a higher share of income and to preserve the legacy of their father and predecessors. La Candelilla was the first independent mill created in Costa Rica in the 2000’s. They decided to add value to their product taking control of the process. The farms and mill are run by 7 siblings covering 70ha of planted coffee in total. 

The pulp from wet mill is piled in one parcel before being used as organic fertilizer. Chemicals are used but biodynamic technics against pests are applied as well. They send soil samples to the national research center Icafe every year and adjust the fertilizing, the planting, etc. according to the results. 

Nowadays, after more than 14 years of experience, continuous improvements and a production of 1,850 green coffee bags (2,775 hundredweight) per year; La Candelilla Coffee Mill successfully exports all over the world. The new generation is already working along their parents, innovating and growing the business. 

La Candelilla (story)

THE VARIETY

Caturra coffee varietal was developed by the Alcides Carvalho Coffee Center of the IAC, Instituto Agronomico of the Sao Paulo State in Brazil.
In 1937, IAC received seed samples of genetic materials originated on the border of the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo. It was from Red Caturra and yellow Caturra cultivars. These two cultivars originated by natural mutation of Bourbon Red, originally a tall coffee shrub, found in the Serra do Caparaó , which is now a mountainous National Park north east of the city of Rio de Janeiro.
These are the main agronomic characteristics of the Red and Yellow Caturra varietals:
1. It is the of small size, of reduced length of internodes, leaves and side branches, providing compact appearance to the coffee shrub.
2. This is the first naturally occurred coffee mutation found, with small size and high yield capacity
3. They have excellent quality in the cup because they have virtually 100% of the Bourbon coffee in their genetic makeup.
4. the conditions in which they were planted in Brazil to cultivate Caturra showed low hardiness and consequent lack of vigor after a few harvests, which led to the premature depletion in yield.

A cross between highly productive Mundo Novo and compact Caturra, made by the Instituto Agronomico (IAC) of Sao Paulo State in Campinas, Brazil. The plant is highly productive compared to Bourbon, in part because of its small size, which allows plants to be closely spaced; it can be planted at nearly double the density. The plant’s shape makes it relatively easy apply pest and disease treatments. It is mainly characterized by great vigor and its low height; it is less compact than Caturra. It is highly susceptible to coffee leaf rust.

Catuaí derives from the Guarani multo mom, meaning “very good." Today, it is considered to have good but not great cup quality. There are yellow-fruited and red-fruited types, and have since been many selections in different countries. The cultivar was created in 1949 from a crossing of yellow Caturra and Mundo Novo, and initially called H-2077.

The variety was released in Brazil 1972 after pedigree selection (selection of individual plants through successive generations) and is in wide cultivation there.

It was first introduced in Honduras in 1979, where it was tested by Instituto Hondureño del Café (IHCAFÉ). It was released commercially in 1983, after IHCAFÉ selected two lines for planting. In Honduras today, Catui accounts for nearly half of the Arabica coffee in cultivation. Researchers at IHCAFÉ are actively pursuing breeding with Catuai, including creating hybrid crosses between Catuai and Timor Hybrid lines.

It is also economically important in Costa Rica, where a yellow-fruiting Catuai was introduced in 1985, whose descendants have spread widely through the country. It was introduced into Guatemala in 1970; currently about 20% of the country’s production is Catuai. It has a negligible presence in other Central American countries.

Catuai, whose small stature allows it to be planted densely and harvested more efficiently, led in part to the intensification of full-sun coffee cultivation in Central America in the 1970s and 1980s.

La Candelilla (variety)

THE FERMENTATION PROCESS

Dry process seems simple: pick the fruit, lay it out in the sun until it turns from red to brown to near-back, and then hull off off the thick, dried outer layer in one step to reveal the green bean. It is a method suited to arid regions, where the sun and heat can dry the seed inside the intact fruit skin.
It's often referred to as "natural coffee" because of its simplicity, and because the fruit remains intact and undisturbed, a bit like drying grapes into raisins. Since it requires minimal investment, the dry process method is a default to create cheap commodity-grade coffee in areas that have the right climate capable of drying the fruit and seed.
But it’s a fail in humid or wet regions. If the drying isn't progressing fast enough, the fruit degrades, rots or molds.
Dry-processed coffees can also be wildly inconsistent. If you want a cleanly-fruited, sweet, intense cup, dry process (DP) takes more hand labor than the wet process. Even the most careful pickers will take green unripe or semi-ripe coffee off the branch as they pick red, ripe cherry. If these are not removed in the first days of drying, the green turns to brown that is hard to distinguish from the ripe fruit.

La Candelilla (fermentation)

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