Nestled in the southernmost part of Costa Rica, the Chirripó–Brunca region is enveloped by two mountain ranges, one of which is the highest in the entire country. This tropical area experiences ocean breezes from both the east and west and is named after the Brunca (Borunca) people, who were the ancient rulers of what is now Costa Rica‘s Pacific coastline. As skilled artists and craftsmen, they are renowned for their handmade weavings and decorative wooden masks. In the past 5–6 years, this lesser–known region has seen a rise in the number of micro mills producing specialty coffee, as it has gained recognition for its top placings in the Cup of Excellence.
In 2005, the Alvarado Fonseca Family acquired Finca El Salitre. Since then, they have been gradually increasing their production and quality control. In 2015, they built a micro–mill, Corazón de Jesús, and in 2020 they achieved another milestone by constructing their own dry mill. Located in Buena Vista, Rivas, the farm is 19 hectares, with 16 hectares planted with coffee and 3 hectares left in reserve to preserve the natural flora and fauna. Currently, the farm produces an average of 500 bags of coffee annually, made up of nine different varieties, including Catuaí, Caturra, Bourbon, Típica, Mibirizi, SL 28, Java, Geisha, and Milenio. The altitude of the farm ranges from 1700 to 2000 meters above sea level.
At the age of 21, Jhonny Alvarado Fonseca demonstrated his remarkable skills in coffee processing and experimentation when he placed 5th in the Cup of Excellence with his Anaerobic Catuaí. His success was further demonstrated when he placed 3rd and 17th respectively in the same competition the following year. This is a testament to his exceptional talent, the importance of quality infrastructure at the farm, and the potential of the region.
For this lot, the family heads out to the field and collects the cherries with the harvesters, ensuring optimal selection. Afterward, the fruit is brought to the mill and emptied into a receiving tank that is shaded from the sun. This allows the coffee to undergo a temperature–controlled fermentation process, which lasts 3–4 days. The cherries are then passed through a recycled water floating system and put out to dry on raised beds. The mounds are moved once or twice daily for the first few days and more frequently as the coffee gets drier, with the total drying time taking 25–30 days.
The end result is a coffee that is incredibly sweet, aromatic, and creamy, while still withholding a vibrant and complex flavor profile.
Producer: Jhonny Alvarado
Region: Chirripó, Brunca
Country: Costa Rica
Aromatics: Cherry, strawberry, raisin, pineapple, fudge
Taste: Red cherry, cranberry, strawberry, pineapple, sweet cream, raisin, cocao nib
Recommended Brewing Methods:
Fellow Stagg [X]
22g in, 350g out
2:25 – 2:45 minutes
205 f temperature
50 gram pour, pick up brewer and spin 3 times
Pour from 50 grams to 200 grams, starting at 30 seconds and ending your pour at 50 seconds (7.5 gram per second, pour rate)
Let fully drain should be between 1:15-1:30
1:15 – 1:30
Pour from 200 grams to 350 grams, starting at 1:15-1:30 and ending your pour at 1:35-1:50 (7.5 gram per second, pour rate)
Let drain completely
Drain should end between 2:25 – 2:45 minutes or brew to taste
Recommended Espresso Recipe:
Classic 9 bar recipe
20g in, 65g out (22 gram basket)
200 f temperature