La Chumeca micro-mill is located in the beautiful San Pablo de León Cortés, part of the Tarrazú zone in Costa Rica. We were lucky enough to visit this coffee oasis back in 2018 and when we noticed one of their coffees pop up on our import partners offer list we grabbed it. This is our second year in a row that we've been able to access this delicious coffee through green importer DR Wakefield.
La Chumeca is a family project started in 2014. Producer Martin Ureña Quirós began with the intention of improving the quality of the coffee from the family farm. Since its inception the mill has focused only on Natural processing, and more recently with Anaerobic processing and other modern processing techniques. La Chumeca has become well known in Costa Rica for its quality coffees, many of which have featured on stage at national barista championships.
The family’s property is the mill and contains a number of impressive spaces dedicated to production of coffee. Just a few meters from the entrance to their house is the “fermentation station,” consisting of a dozen stainless steel tanks lined up under a wooden structure. This space is monitored closely by mathematician and coffee farmer Emilio. Just past this fermentation space is a trail that leads through the forested area which acts as veins throughout the coffee fields. Beyond the trail is the drying space, surrounded by coffee trees and interlaced with immaculately maintained grass, flowers, and ponds. The drying area is overlooked by a tree house that has wonderful views of the drying beds, as well as the wide-stretching slopes of coffee full of Tarrazú character.
This lot of Catuai coffee underwent a double fermentation Natural process that the family calls the “777” process. Both aerobic and anaerobic fermentation is used while the cherries are still whole. Internal and external temperature and the pH of the fermentation environment are strictly monitored during the process. After both phases of fermentation are complete, the cherries are dried on raised beds. Throughout drying the thickness of the layer of cherries is managed to increase or decrease the speed of drying as needed in order to maintain the optimal drying time.
For a report on that 2018 trip and some extra images just click here. Keep an eye on our social media channels in the second half of February since Dave will be returning to La Chumeca.