The Solis Family

Today was fully dedicated to the Solis Family and their mill, La Casona de Doña Lina, and their two farms, San Francisco 1900 and El Rodeo. This is the fourth season we're working with them and bringing their coffee to Canada.

It wasn't as action packed as previous visits because of our timing. The harvest is done and there is no coffee on the drying patios or the raised beds. The trees are in an in between stage, where they are beginning to form flowers, which will eventually become seeds.

For the coffee plant, it really thrives from stress - just like some people do. After the harvest, the plant itself is tired, as it's just dedicated all of it's energy to producing beautiful red cherries. So, when these cherries have been removed, the plant now has this energy to spare and begins to focus more on new growth, new nodes and preparation for the next season. This preparation all generally happens in a dry season and when the rains do come (maybe a week of rain or so) the plant explodes with coffee blossoms. Each blossom is representative of a potential coffee cherry. This is the stage we saw the plants here, at San Francisco 1900 and El Rodeo. We saw the odd flower and the odd cherry, but you had to look with a keen eye to find them.

San Francisco and El Rodeo coffee plant

Both of these farms saw a really great season as far as quality goes. They both grow majority Catuai, with a bit of Caturra, and some small plots of Geisha and Villalobos at San Francisco 1900. Of the few samples we cupped on Wednesday, they had some scores that landed between 86 and 87 points. They were sweet, juicy and had a discerning peachy note. We'll cup more samples tomorrow and Monday to make our final selections.

The 17/18 harvest season was really solid in Tarrazu. Weather conditions were ideal, other than a late week of heavy rains, which affected yields and in some areas caused landslides that wiped out entire fields of plants for some farms. Lucky for us and lucky for the Solis Family, they didn't lose plants, just cherries. When the rains come at the wrong time, it causes the cherries to swell due to too much moisture and either completely release and drop, or burst in an area and begin to dry on the tree. Both situations render that coffee cherry useless. Thus, leading to less crop for the producer. It's amazing how much weather plays into it. You can absolutely isolate 'Vintage' style years, similar to how vineyards will. I'd say the quality of the coffees we've tasted from the Solis Family this year are the best in the four years we've been purchasing directly from them.

There are a few improvements that Roger Solis, the head of the family and father of seven, is keen to do around their micro-mill, La Casona de Doña Lina, named after his Grandmother. We're exploring ideas on how we can assist in one of these projects.

Green coffee bags at La Casona de Doña Lina micro-mill

Otherwise, that's about the full update I can give for now. We'll cup his Catuai, Caturra and some small production of Geisha tomorrow. All of which we're super keen to try.

Look for San Francisco 1900 or El Rodeo on the menu towards the Summer. Sweet, juicy, clean and peachy. A perfect Summer coffee by the Solis Family in Tarrazu.

La Casona de Doña Lina coffee farm at Tarrazu, Costa Rica

Paul, Head Roaster at Rosso (left), Roger (middle), Francisco Jose (right)

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