Aquaires Estate is one of the exciting specialty coffee producers that we know is willing to venture into unorthodox ways of processing coffee. Their signature flower culture process optimises the anaerobic fermentation process with cultured local yeast.
Thanks to the unique influence of Caribbean rains, sporadic flowering can occur on the coffee plants. These coffee flowers contain unique flower-inhabiting yeasts that feed on the nectar of the flowers during the first day of blooming. The team at Aquiares collected a number of these flowers, isolating the wild yeasts and creating a microbial culture to be used in processing this lot.
Left to grow and reproduce in an agar, Diego and his team found a native strain of Metschnikowia Pulcherrima as well as smaller colonies of Hanseniaspora species. This culture was used to inoculate the fermentation tanks where pulped coffee was sealed and fermented for three days. The pulped, fermented coffee was sun-dried until it reached a 10.5% humidity.
Aquiares, one of Costa Rica’s largest and most historic coffee farms, sits high on the fertile slopes of Turrialba Volcano. Producing coffee continuously for over a century, the farm has developed an enduring model for growing high-quality Arabica coffee, protecting a stunning natural setting, and supporting a thriving local community of 1,800 people.
Established by British farmers in 1890, Aquiares was one of the first estates to produce and export Costa Rican coffee. In 1971, the farm was purchased by its current owners – three families who have worked together with the farm´s staff and community to implement a modern model of sustainable agriculture. Today, the Estate is the largest continuous coffee farm in Costa Rica, covering 924 hectares, 80% of which is planted under shade-grown Arabica.