This coffee is a red catuaí variety and it went through a red honey process. The coffee is grown at 1950m, resulting in a dense bean that is packed with sugars and amino acids. What’s red honey you ask? Essentially, the cherry was picked at the peak of its ripeness, it was de-pulped and sundried on raised beds. This process results in the coffee parchment taking on a ruby red colour, thus the name “Red Honey” - for any coffee lover, one day you have to go to a raised bed and taste a red honey coffee while its drying - it’s a symphony of fruit flavours and sweetness.
Here’s some more info on the Solis brothers.
Alejandro and Horacio Solis are the two giants among men that run the micromill “Don Oscar”. They started the mill in 2014 and we’ve been working with them since day one. The name Don Oscar comes from their father, Oscar Solis, who passed away a few years after they launched their micromill. Oscar was the first generation farmer in the family and, for most of his life, he would pick cherries and sell the fruit to a local coop. This coop would pay by weight and did not care if the cherries were of great variety and picked with great care. It would all go into a big regional blend of terrible coffee and incredible coffee. That was the model throughout Costa Rica until about 10-12 years ago where a lot of small farmers began to invest in equipment at their farm so they could process their coffee internally. This allowed them to sell their coffee as a unique, farm-level product that was much better than the regional blends. With the help of exporters with a vision, and roasters looking for better coffees, the farmers were able to fetch a much higher price by processing their own coffee.
Ale and Tacho, as they are affectionately known, are in the Canet region of the famous Tarrazu region in the south of Costa Rica. This region is so beautiful, their mill and their main farm is in a valley surrounded by lush mountains, all full of coffee.
What’s really cool about them is they started with just about nothing - they had a small farm, they bought really basic equipment and they started milling their own coffee. They are super humble and hard working people and every thing that they get from their operation they invest it right back into it. Every year since they started, they have improved their infrastructure, they have purchased more land, and they have planted new varieties. Now, they actually produce quite a bit of coffee for a small producer - and they are processing it really well and meticulously. So every year since their start, they have not only improved their quality, but also their quantity - which is awesome for them!
Over the years I've given them a few suggestions of things that I've seen in other farms and they have adopted many of my suggestions. Overall, I'm just really proud to work with a pair of brothers that are so keen on really improving every year and they just look in the mirror and all they can see is what they can do better. They should be proud of what they have accomplished, heck, I'm proud to work with them!