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Costa Rica - Rita Aguilera

Costa Rica - Rita Aguilera

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  • Country – Costa Rica
  • Region – Los Robles, San Jerónimo Naranjo, Valle Occidental
  • Farm – Finca Pergujal
  • Varietal – Villa Sarchi
  • Process – Honey
  • Cup Score – 85.5
  • Altitude –  1500 masl

Tasting Notes: 

Orange zest, toffee and cloves, dark chocolate finish, round and coating cup

Farm Overview:

Doña Rita’s story in coffee begins four generations ago, when her family began producing coffee. For this reason, she even says that their passion for coffee runs in their blood. Doña Rita’s father was passionate about growing coffee, having inherited a small piece of land from his parents. 

In 2019, Doña Rita came to know of Bean Voyage, starting a new phase of her journey in coffee, learning how to process her own coffee and trying to receive a more equitable price. In this way, she is sustaining a family business with four generations’ worth of history in coffee. In 2020, it was the first year Doña Rita processed her own coffee at her farm Finca Pergujal. This lot is a full honey, dried in the sun on raised beds.

For Doña Rita, one of the most important aspects of her work is the conservation and protection of natural resources. Therefore, she devotes a percentage of her land to the protection of the forest and fauna. In 2019 she grew approximately 180 species of trees native to the area between the coffee trees, giving a home to birds including goldfinches and toucans. Doña Rita’s land also has soil of volcanic origin, due to its proximity to Poás Volcano. Doña Rita firmly believes that the volcanic soil, the altitude, the temperature, the amount of rain, the new varieties she is growing, combined with the love that her family puts into coffee, will lead her smallholding to produce very high-quality coffee.

Bean Voyage is a feminist, non-profit organization working with women coffee producers with the objective of eradicating gender gap in farming communities and in Costa Rica are supporting 120 smallholder women farmers. They have created women-only discussion groups to strengthen the women producers confidence and create a safe space for them to share their experience and support each other. They also do in person and digital training involving higher level of technology to track progress and test the farmers on their knowledge. A huge part of the curriculum is focused on preserving biodiversity and the environment in general to tackle climate change and to produce more in adequation with the endemic ecosystems. Each farmer receives a minimum of 80 hours of training on 5 modules - farm finance, production, processing, quality analysis and gender/community. Bean Voyage also work on finding better markets for the micro lots produced with sustainable partners and fair prices paid. And this is how we started this partnership. On average, smallholder farming families see a 300% increase in farm income from farm-related activities after joining Bean Voyage this due to a better quality of the coffees but also better markets chains for the products.