Transcend Coffee & Roastery | Coffee
Edwin Alvarado and his family live in the small town of Leon Cortes where they cultivate coffee and operate a family-owned mill named La Joya which translates into English as "the jewel." We’ve been buying coffee from the three generations of Alvarados since 2011, which was the first year they operated their mill. Up until then, they’d been selling their freshly harvested coffee cherries to the local co-op, earning market price plus a small premium for higher quality cherries. The decision to start milling their own coffee was one that many other farmers in Costa Rica have since made. By doing more of the value-adding steps themselves, they could not only earn more of the profit but keep their coffee separate and sell it through specialty-focussed channels for an even higher price.
The coffee we purchased this year is entirely made up of caturra that’s been mechanically washed. What that means is that the coffee is de-pulped and then sent through a second machine to remove the sticky mucilage that still surrounds the parchment-covered seed. Because there is no fermentation step, the coffee heads straight to the drying beds where it stays for about 10 days until it reaches an appropriate moisture level.
Processing coffee requires different skill sets and knowledge, which is what the team at Exclusive Coffees helps lots of micro-millers around Costa Rica develop. The team there is full of specialists in coffee quality development who have worked with coffee producers for the last 12 years on every aspect of coffee production. They have helped the Alvarados with rejuvenating their coffee trees, calibrating their milling equipment, and with the access to a market so we could meet them and develop the working relationship we’ve enjoyed for the past decade.
Director of Coffee
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