Costa Rica – Aquiares
In 1890, Aquiares was founded by farmers looking to take advantage of Costa Rica´s railroad to the port of Limón. Today, now the largest coffee farm in Costa Rica, Aquiares devotes 80% of its land to growing outstanding coffee, and the remaining 20% to conservation. Coffee plots are interlaced with over a dozen natural springs and almost 20 kilometers in streams—all protected with buffer zones.
These streams form a network of natural corridors through the farm that connect the large, protected forests in the two river valleys, providing a healthy environment for the local animals, birds, and plants. The farm is nestled between the Aquiares and Turrialba Rivers.
The Aquiares farm manages all aspects of coffee production, beginning with seedling production and continuing through to cultivation, bean picking and milling. Their success in managing the coffee production chain is evident by their consistently exceptional product. Quality and traceability are always guaranteed.
All their coffee is grown at a high altitude—from 820 to 1,400 meters above sea level. The terrain allows for coffee varieties to flourish in the rich volcanic soil, cool night temperature and high humidity. Aquiares’ agricultural practices work to build and maintain soil quality. The organic matter provided by shade leaf litter feeds soil microbes. In turn, decomposition provides coffee plants with organic nutrients. In addition, native trees provide shade to slow coffee ripening. A longer ripening process allows the bean to absorb more sugars and makes for a better cup quality. While large by Costa Rican standards, the farm still takes the time to prune each plant independently instead of pruning by row or lot.
To ensure consistent quality, all Aquiares coffee is picked by hand. During the harvest, each tree is visited up to seven times to ensure that only fully red ripe beans or “cherries” are picked. The farms places great value on the pickers and Aquiares invests heavily in their well being. As coffee cherries come from the field, they move into Aquiares’ own mill that same day. Drying takes place in driers fueled by wood sustainably harvested at the farm before being sorted and packaged for export.
Aquiares mainly grows the Caturra variety of coffee but is always experimenting with new varieties. To do this, the farm has developed a Varietal Garden were more than 30 promising varieties are being tested for cup quality, pest resistance and productivity.
In the past decades the farm has planted more than 50,000 shade trees, creating natural buffers around streams and water springs. It has worked to preserve the river valleys as forest, planting along the contours of the hills.
Meticulous farming practises, investment in the community and the workers, a dedication to sustainability and the environment, and an insatiable quest for improving quality, make Aquarius a model for farm production everywhere.
Peru – PERUNOR
PERUNOR is a Peruvian company, established in 1998, dedicated to the cultivation and commercialization of specialty coffees. Their purpose is to bring to the world green coffee beans that are grown using organic farming practices, the responsible use of water, and the care of plant and animal diversity, as well as the application of techniques and materials that contribute to sustainable development while preserving the environment.
The founders of PERUNOR created a specialty coffee cultivation program whose goal was to achieve strategic alliances with cooperatives and coffee associations throughout Peru while promoting productive development and economic expansion of these regions, as well as the improvement of the quality of life of our Peruvian farmers, who have become the embodiment of the company. They can provide coffee from micro lots for small roasters or large amounts for processors and distributors throughout the world.
PERUNOR has been able to market an exquisite variety of green coffee beans with international organic certifications, thanks to advanced technologies and strategic alliances with farmers and coffee cooperatives throughout the Peruvian territory.
PERUNOR coffee is grown under forest shadow, in jungle environments which is advantageous for biodiversity, birds and the environment. PERUNOR is typified for its soil conservation methods that evolved from ecological processes. The company has various international certifications.
PERUNOR’s beans goes through rigorous cupping, or sensory evaluation, that determines properties such as aroma, acidity, flavor, body, & cup defects—with all coffee achieving cup scores greater than 83 points according to SCA.
PERUNOR coffee—from Peru to the world.