Costa Rica – Aguilera Dagoberto
Aguilera farm is run by 12 siblings (8 brothers and 4 sisters) on a total of 50 hectares. Dagoberto is one of them. The farm runs from 1,450 metres above sea level to 1,700 metres with a processing mill on site. The siblings are keen on innovation and a lot of experiments are done with varieties. They have various types of Geisha, Sarchimore, Pacamara, Venezia, Cidra, Catuai and Villa Sarchi varieties inter-cropped with banana trees, poró tico (a native tree of Costa Rica) and avocado trees.
As the 3rd generation of coffee producers on this land, initially the siblings were just farming and used to deliver their cherries to a neighbouring wet mill. But, 10 years ago, they decided to create more value for their coffee by controlling their own processing. They built the wet and dry mill and little by little were able to prepare their coffee up to export stage themselves. Seven years ago they also invested in greenhouses for drying washed coffees as the site is often very windy making drying coffee without protection tricky.
The farm maintains a generous boundary of trees for additional wind protection, cut weeds are used as mulch material and each coffee tree is pruned every 3 years. At the peak of the harvest, 45 seasonal pickers work with the family on site. This year the weather has been especially sunny and dry, therefore only natural and honey processing took place due to the reduced requirement for water.
Our lot is a natural coffee which was dried on the football pitch that the siblings built for the local community as it is well protected from the wind. The natural processed coffees are not moved for a 2 full days after laying out and are then turned with a rake to avoid damaging the cherries. After the first 48 hours the naturals are then turned 3 times a day for around the next 20 days.