Mantilla Fancy, Costa Rica
Roast Level: Medium
Process: Fully washed
Varietal: Caturra, Catuaí, Obatã
Roaster's Notes: A fancy addition to our current offerings, this Costa Rican delight brings the beautiful sweetness we’ve come to know and love. Rich honey tones married with apple & lemon acidity. Delish!
Region: Central Valley & Tarrazú
Altitude: 1,200 - 2,100 metres
Founded in 1961, the formation of Coopelibertad is well-known as one of the most significant moments for cooperatives in Costa Rica. Since its inception almost 60 years ago, the cooperative has continued to work to benefit its members; improving both their financial and social conditions through the cultivation of coffee.
In the Province of Heredia at the beginning of the 1960s, the only companies who owned any significant capital in the coffee industry were large private companies and wealthy family enterprises. Small farmers had no access to technical assistance or financing and were severely disadvantaged when it came to marketing their coffee. In the rare cases where a loan was offered, it came accompanied by asphyxiating interest. In this environment, many farmers were regularly confronted with the loss of property and their one source of income, even when experiencing the smallest bout of bad luck. The life of a small coffee farmer was precarious.
There was an urgent need to find a solution. Many in the region began to speak of the need to free themselves from a system that was holding back the economic, social and cultural development of small coffee producers and at the same time concentrating wealth in very few hands, widening a very dangerous social gap.
In response to these economic circumstances, the National Bank of Costa Rica established the Department of Cooperatives, whose objective was to encourage the creation of well-founded organisations, composed of small and mid-sized farmers in solidarity with a philosophy of service over immediate profit.
On April 9, 1961, a group of coffee growers from Heredia, operating with the advice of representatives of the National Bank, formed the Central Committee for the Organization of a Coffee Growers Cooperative. The group began with 267 associates. Of course, this new organisation had to be given a name, and in one of the first sessions of the Board of Directors its Vice President, Mr Luis Omar Chavarria proposed:
"This company was born as a protest of the small coffee growers, who in turn saw in the union of their efforts, the opportunity to be free to manage their small businesses as they please and once and for all, not to be ever more subject to the whims of the wealthy, I propose that our Cooperative be named COOPE LIBERTAD RL."
The reasoning implicit in the proposal summarised the feelings of the small coffee growers and their desire to have their own organisation. The name was accepted unanimously.
Today, more than five decades after its formation, Coopelibertad has brought under its umbrella the majority of coffee producers in the Province of Heredia, as well as expanding into neighbouring provinces. Its name, backed by the quality of its product, is recognised by the most important coffee entities in the national and international market. In 2019, Coopelibertad represents approximately 3,500 hectares of cultivated coffee land, mostly farms of small and medium-sized producers, with estates often averaging around 5 hectares or less. The organisation has 540 full-time members and serves a similar number of independent (non-member) producers, all of whom have also selected Coopelibertad as their best option to market their coffee.
Mantilla Fancy, one of the main trade brands for Coopelibertad, takes its name from its source of inspiration; Mantilla, a micro-region located in Escazu, Central Valley. Here, not only will you find fantastic coffee, but also good people to produce it. It is for these reasons that Coopelibertad decided to name one of their most important lots by the same name; highlighting you can expect great coffee from great people.
For this year’s Mantilla Fancy lot, Coopelibertad is collecting and blending the top quality lots from all over Central Valley and parts of Tarrazu. For this to be feasible, Coopelibertad has created new systems of collection known as ‘recibidores’. Reception points have been set up all over the region, allowing Coopelibertad to be closer to the farmlands, encouraging even more producers to deliver their produce. These collection centres are located in the Central Valley provinces of Heredia, Alajuela and Moravia, as well as Corralillo in Tarrazu. All collection centres are located at more than 1,200 meters above sea level.