I don’t remember a time I’ve ever let someone else loose on my blog, its my blog after all. But Roland (one of my roasting team) is on his first ever trip to origin in Costa Rica as part of the Cup of excellence jury, and I think this is something we should share with you all. so I’ve asked him to write a daily diary heres day 1
About 30 hours after leaving Stafford, I reached Costa Rica. My first trip to origin felt like diving in the deep end, but I was so lucky to have Francisco from our exporter, Exclusive Coffees, waiting there to meet me!
Their offices are only a short distance from the airport, on a small industrial estate. As well as their offices and cupping facilities, it’s also a dry mill where they remove the parchment from the green coffee and bag it up ready for shipping to us.
They’re currently running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get all the coffee ready and shipped around the world. Green coffee arrives in parchment from the micro-mills that they work with, and is then put through a sorting machine – a vibrating plate that separates the less dense beans and fragments from the larger beans. The denser beans are the best – 1st quality. They are then put through a de-husking machine to remove the parchment and an air jet to separate the beans from the parchment fragments. Then the beans get a second pass through the sorter, again separating less dense bean fragments from the 1st quality lot. Finally, they get a visual sorting as well and get bagged up.
Upstairs from the dry mill, they run a very busy cupping lab, overflowing with samples to be roasted on two sample roasters very like the one in our roastery. I was lucky enough to get to cup with them – which was doubly interesting as it included a 2nd quality lot from the Aguilera Brothers who bring us Licho! We never normally see 2nds, and whilst it didn’t hit the heights of our main Licho lot, it was still pretty tasty!