We’re excited to include Finca V&G in our ICON range for the first time. This forward-thinking farm utilises a scientific approach and modern-day techniques with a focus on sustainable agricultural practices. We think this lot showcases just what is possible from a well looked after hybrid variety through simple but careful processing. Like a dessert in a cup, we are tasting plum and raspberry with dark chocolate ganache and a rich honey-like sweetness.
ROAST DATE: 15/02/24
ICON 36 – Centroamericano, Black Honey
is backordered and will ship as soon as it is back in stock.
Finca V&G (Vargas and Gutierrez) San Juanillo is the brainchild of an agronomist (Tomas Gutierrez) and an industrial engineer (Allan Vargas), who shared a vision for this beautiful farm in San Juanillo, Naranjo when they bought it in 2007. Part of this vision was to create a model for how a modern-day, sustainable coffee farm should look. They wanted to shake the shackles of any old-school thought and draw on the best technical advice out there, including the use of hybrid varieties, renovation techniques, and fertilizer applications. Taking a more scientific approach to the management of the farm, without forgetting environmental responsibilities – the farm is Rainforest Alliance Certified.
In order to obtain the best coffee, they started a renewal program to replace the traditional Caturra and Catuai varieties, both susceptible to rust, with highly productive and rust resistant varieties. To produce outstanding coffee, the best practices of management and use of the soil are applied, with the aim to become a model farm for good quality and sustainable coffee production.
For Tomas and Allan coffee production is a passion, so in 2018 they expanded the area of their farm by buying 8.5 hectares from their neighbour. Today the farm is 80% renewed with varieties such as Marsellesa and various hybrids, which will allow an increase in production over the next 3 years.
One of their greatest achievements was in the 2014-2015 harvest, when one of their micro-lots participated for the first time in the Cup of Excellence. They won the 19th place among 144 coffees, they competed with a new variety called H1 or “Centro Americano Hybrid”. In the 2015-2016 harvest they competed again and were in the top 44 best coffees in Costa Rica. They competed once more with this coffee in 2023 and also placed. Their pride for being producers of high quality coffee and delivering the best quality to clients makes them constantly invest and innovate in the V&G San Juanillo project.
San Juanillo is the name and area of this beautiful farm facing the pacific coast which Tomas and Allan own, they are professionals in agronomy and have a high level of expertise. This lot was grown at 1,400 – 1,600 masl. They conduct soil and leaf analysis which allows them to determine the exact nutrients their plants need. They fertilise three times a year and try to work the farm as sustainably as possible, conducting experiments applying different products over the years to improve the quality and the production, for example they have been applying a foliar bio stimulant that has been giving them great results in the cup (over one point higher in the cupping score). Thomas is focusing nowadays on growing varieties that are resistant to climate change, for example Hybrids like H15, much like this lot which has been giving them great results. After years of experiments in this area and with the different climatic variants, this year they will stop planting Catuai and will grow more hybrid varieties that have excellent results in the cup as well as higher yields.
The variety H1, or Centroamericano is a first generation (F1) hybrid originating from a cross between rust-resistant variety Timor 5296 (progeny of an spontaneous interspecies cross between Robusta and Arabica discovered on the island of Timor in the 1920s) and the Ethiopian landrace variety Rume Sudan. As this is a first generation hybrid it’s not considered stable and the seeds from these plants will not necessarily produce offspring with the same qualities. Centroamericano is resistant to coffee leaf rust, is extremely high yielding and has also proven to have exceptional cup quality potential when well-managed at high altitudes.
The cherry was processed at the Patalillo micro-mill which is well known for their black honey process! The fruit arrives at the mill and is allowed to rest and take on a slight ferment for a day and a half. Following this, the coffee is moved through a de-pulper using gravity, without water. The fruit skin is removed from the seed, but all of the sticky fruit mucilage is left intact on the parchment - the thin skin of material which surrounds the seed. The seeds, covered in mucilage, are taken to concrete patios where they are put in little piled rows and not moved much for the first 3 days. This is what gives the parchment its signature dark colour. Then, the coffee is turned more frequently for the next 3 days, and finally they are moved to raised beds where they are left to finish drying for another 5 days while being turned frequently to promote even moisture.
PRODUCER: Allan Vargas and Tomas Gutierrez
FARM: Finca V&G, San Juanillo, Naranjo, West Valley, Costa Rica
ELEVATION: 1,400 - 1,600 masl
CULTIVAR: Centroamericano H1
PREPARATION: Black Honey
HARVEST: December-March 2023
ARRIVED: September 2023
IMPORTING PARTNER: Sucafina/Selva