What makes Julius stand out from other coffee roasters are the unique relationships we maintain with local producers (fincas) in Costa Rica. Because we import directly from them, we make it a duty (a very enjoyable one) to travel to meet them in person to continue building strong ties that are based on our common passion for coffee. That’s why, a year after our last expedition, we flew to San Jose, ready to take in the warmth, sun, and enticing aromas of Costa Rica.
As soon as we arrived, we headed towards our first stop, La Finca de Don Mario. This plantation is Alliance Certified which means their coffee meets rigorous standards of environmental sustainability. This criterion is incredibly important for us because we want to have a positive impact on the communities we work with. On site, we met up with two special collaborators: Diego and Christian. Christian is a bioengineer specialized in soil fertilization. He’s in charge of issuing accreditations for fincas and travelled with us during our entire trip to make sure producers were not using any harmful products. Diego is a good friend who is also a local guide and translator.
To help us decide what our picks for our next purchases, our team tried eight varieties during a cupping session: Obata, CR95, Caturra, Geisha, Marsellesa, Villa Lobos, Catuai, and ST Isidor!
On day two, we headed to our partner La Finca San Gabriel located in the Puriscal region at an altitude of 1,420 metres above sea level. There, we tried four varieties of coffee: Catuai, Caturra, Geisha, and Kenya. Beans from the black honey and natural processes really stood out during the cupping session but our favourite was definitely the new anaerobic process. This is without a doubt our discovery of the year!
Anaerobic means oxygen free. This process involves putting the coffee cherries in hermetically-sealed stainless steel containers to control the sugars, pressure, temperature, pH level, and to create unique flavours and textures.
We travelled to the Finca Santa Lucia in the Naranjo region at 1,710 metres above sea level. Having won the Cup of Excellence in 2014 and 2017, this coffee producer has definitely made a name for itself. Our team tried four varieties: Catuai, Caturra, Villalabos, and Geisha. It was epic!
Discovery day! For the first time, we visited the Finca Chumeca, winner of several awards at the 2017 Cup of Excellence. On site, we met up with the owners and explore their facilities. They produce coffees using natural and anaerobic processes. Because their coffee is mainly sold in Asia, we were excited to have the privilege to have to give it a try.
We travelled to check in with a close collaborator of ours: the Finca Rivense, located in the Pérez Zeledon region at 1,400 metres above sea level where the Urena Rojas family welcomed us with open arms. Our cupping session involved four varieties: Catuai, Caturra, Geisha, and Catuai Amarillo. As always with the Urena Rojas, lots of laughter and good times!
That’s how we wrapped up our partners tour, inspired by their innovative processes and warm welcome. After a few days of rest and our heads full of ideas, we came back to Quebec where we are now working hard to help you discover these new varieties. To be continued, pura vida!