We’re always captivated by Costa Rican coffees here at Garage, and our new Valle de Sol is no exception. Sunny not only by name, but also by flavour, it has a delightful acidity that spices up a real classic flavour base. It makes for a great morning coffee, whatever your brewing method!
Process: Fully washed & dried in guardiolas
Varietal: Catuai, Caturra, Villa Sarchi, Sarchimores, Obata mostly
Producers: Various members of Coope Victoria
Tasting notes: Green Apple, Milk Chocolate, Peanut Butter.
Valle de Sol, or “Sunny Valley”, is a blend produced by various producers as part of Coope Victoria. Based in the Western Central Valley, one of Costa Rica’s most lucrative coffee zones, all the coffees grown for Valle de Sol are farmed on volcanic soils, rich with essential minerals that make for a phenomenal bean! Each producer takes exceptional care to ensure their beans are the best they can be before delivering to the Coope washing mill, where the bean is inspected for size, colour and ripeness before being carefully washed and dried in guardiolas.
Coope Victoria expects a lot of its producers, but it is because of this that they have been able to put so much back into their community, not only in terms of coffee production, but also sustainability, economic and social development. They are Costa Rica’s first coffee cooperative. They were originally founded in 1905 by a German family as Finca Victoria, who left the business following the Second World War. The local producers, supported by the state, formed the cooperative in 1943 with the interests of the locals, and of course the coffee, at the heart of the business.
Today, Coope Victoria represents over 3000 members, and their economic and environmental efforts reach over 15000 beneficiaries in the area. To ensure optimum coffee production, the Coope funds and encourages renovation practices, employing a regime of pruning and crop renewal across all their farms, and developing new disease-resistant strains of Sarchimor varietals. They provide their farmers with organic fertilisers for crops treated with microorganisms, which assist in decomposing organic matter and add vital nutrients back into the soil. They are also considered a driver of economic and social development in the area, generating indirect jobs and boosting the local economy.
Valle de Sol is a medium roast with a big bold flavour that lends itself to both filter and espresso brewing. As a pour-over (we, as always, are using our weapon of choice, the Hario V60), it has a light mouthfeel, with mellow nutty notes, that’s quickly followed by a sharp burst of green apple acidity. It’s through an Aeropress, though, that this coffee really comes into its own: the mellow nuttiness becomes full-bodied with a round mouth feel, sweetened with a hint of milk chocolate and that same green apple sharpness. As an espresso, expect that apple acidity to become more pronounced, making it a perfect coffee to cut through the milk of a flat white or a cortado.
As always, Valle de Sol is available to purchase from our shops in Canterbury and Whitstable, and can also be found on our online store!