We have purchased coffee from Carlos Diaz for the past few seasons. For many years the coffees grown at Las Margaritas were trucked in, roasted, and ground. This was just one of the methods of selling his coffee to the commercial market that Carlos utilized, using many channels to leverage the best price. Thanks to his time studying at Cenicafe, Carlos has a vast amount of technical knowledge about coffee production, which is evident in how well cared for his entire farm is. After joining the Neighbors and Crops program, Carlos has used the team of consultants and pickers throughout the season to provide assistance so he can focus on the details of caring for Las Margaritas. This aid in focus is evident in the cup, with delicate florals and a slick sweetness indicative of the lactic process. We hope to continue to purchase coffee from Carlos for many more seasons.
Time, temperature, pH, and Brix all play into this unique processing method. A common misconception is that this method is processed using the addition of lactobacillus, a yeast strain, or by the addition of Lactic acid. The real process is a nuanced limited oxygen pre-fermentation in a sealed tank, allowing the bacteria and yeast to consume the mucilage within the cherry, producing lactic acid and therefore changing the final cup profile. After the fermentation, this coffee is depulped and dried on raised parabolic beds where dry heat is pumped in to aid the drying process during the cold and humid nights.
LA PALMA Y EL TUCÁN
La Palma y El Tucán. The name has become synonymous with high-quality competition-grade coffees, but for our green buyer, it means another thing: home. Dakota spent three months living in one of the nine cabins built on the grounds of La Palma Y El Tucán, working alongside the team there to facilitate a coffee experience unlike any other for guests visiting the farm. During his time there, he experienced their dedication to quality and the constant innovation taking place in all aspects of the farm. The guidance and teaching from each of La Palma's staff members were integral to leading Dakota to the Onyx team, who has had a relationship with La Palma y El Tucán since early 2013.
Felipe and Elisa started La Palma y El Tucán with the vision to produce small, perfect quantities of some of the world's favorite coffee varieties. The farm has a unique layout with each variety planted in an artful way that encourages exceptional production and is also beautiful. The coffee is picked as it ripens by a team of women whose job it is to choose only the best cherries, making pass after pass, day after day. La Palma's farming practices and their wet mill is designed to showcase how fermentation can encourage coffees to create flavors you could only dream of.
In the last few years, they've started a project called Neighbors & Crops, a program that consists of buying coffee from the surrounding farms and processing it in their state-of-the-art mill. By teaching agronomy, cherry selection, and giving organic fertilizer to neighbors, they have lifted both the quality of life and quality of coffee in their region. This coffee is the product of that partnership.