CUP OF EXCELLENCE 2021
Notes: Floral, apricot, citrus fruits and brown sugar
Farm name: Don Eli
Farmer: Jacob Montero
Variety: Arabica Geisha
Processing Method: Natural
Elevation: 1900 masl.
Montero Family: For four generations, the Montero family has been producing coffee in the mountains of Tarrazú, Costa Rica. Their farm, Don Eli, is located between the towns of San Marcos and Santa Maria de Dota in the Tarrazu canton of Costa Rica. Sitting at an altitude of 1,900 MASL, Tarrazú region is rich in volcanic soil and known to offer some of the best Costa Rican coffee.
The legacy of Montero Family begins with Rafael Montero and Emilia Picado. Their son Eli Montero worked throughout his life in coffee, as well his son, Carlos Montero. Today, two of Carlos’ children, Jacob and Marianela, are involved in coffee both on and off the farm.
Carlos grew up watching his father struggle through the hard times that often befall the smallholder farmers, so he set out to create opportunities for himself as well as the family’s farm. In 1971, Carlos participated in a high school exchange program in San Diego, California. He gained experiences and friendships that remained with him to this day and informed his approach to coffee production. Carlos later lived and worked in New Jersey, becoming fluent in English, and also traveled to Europe to experience the continent’s history and culture. Carlos treasures those experiences abroad and his favorite aspect of working in coffee is the connections he makes with people from all over the world. He loves hosting coffee lovers from around the world and sharing his culture with his guests.
In the past, the Montero Family produced coffee for the local coffee cooperative for over 20 years. During the harvest of 2014-2015, it was their first year as specialty coffee producers where they established their own micro-mill to process the coffee they grew. In this way, they can regulate their own coffee, focus on innovating processing methods, and ensure quality in each coffee bean. They transitioned to a mindset of quality over quantity, and today Don Eli specializes in different coffee processes. Carlos Montero is working to get certifications for his farm, like NAMA Café. He also knows how important it is to have a great soil without chemicals, so he is working on sustainable practices in his farm, and as an example he has a nano lot where he hasn’t used any chemicals for many years and want to keep this nano-lot named “Chamaco” as an experiment for the future. Don Eli Coffee Farm is aiming on delivering the best of what Costa Rican soils have to offer.
Jacob Montero is the farm manager (26 years old). He oversees the wet-mill processing and the quality control of the lots. Jacob is key to the different coffee process. He has a degree in Economics, which comes useful in helping the family business with the accounts.
Coffee Processing: Historically, Don Eli Coffee Farm planted varieties such as Catuai, Caturra and Typica. However, in recent years we have planted new varieties such as Geisha, Bourbon, SL28 and Mundo Novo.
For the wet mill processing, Don Eli Coffee Farm works different processes as natural, honey and washed. Also, in recent years, they have experimented and introduced anaerobic fermentation processes, taking into consideration the control of different variables as pH, temperature, and Brix degrees. The drying of the special batches is essential for Don Eli. They always try to dry their best lots very slowly and cover under shade. Usually, the drying process takes between 18 to 40 days.
Cup of Excellence 2021: This year, Don Eli Coffee Farm decided to participate in Cup of Excellence for the first time. After they did the quality control of their farms, Jacob Montero made the decision to participate in COE with one lot of Geisha planted 6 years ago at 1900 MASL. For the process, Jacob decided to do it as natural, drying the cherries very slowly in African beds, totally covered under the shade over 40 days.
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