La Minita Coffee – It’s in the Green Beans

September 3, 2012

By Jim Cameron

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La Minita; Spanish for “The Little Gold Mine” says it all. La Minita is arguably the best coffee in the world and is sipped by the who’s who in the specialty coffee industry as well as by those of us who have access to it in our businesses. Similar to the wine industry, the best coffees are not always the most expensive. There are many factors involved in determining the final price of a coffee, unfortunately the quality of the bean is only one of them.

La Minita comes from the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica in Central America. This region has long been known for it’s quality coffee and remains one of the finest growing regions in the world. The La Minita Estate is located at the pinnacle of this region on a spur between two rivers 5700 feet above sea level. The farm actually has several “Micro Climates” within the farm which effect the crop in different ways. The meticulous way in which coffee is grown, pruned, fertilized, shaded, and weeded all add to the final product. Long before “Organic” was popular, this farm was using machetes to cut back weeds rather than chemicals. Long before “fair trade” was popular this farm was treating it’s employees with respect, providing dental and medical resources right on the farm, paying above local scale, providing household items at below cost prices, and encouraged a coffee workers association to promote fair, safe and equitable conditions.

When the “new crop” is in, samples are taken from each of the micro growing regions on the farm and cupped to determine the years mix. The pickers start at daybreak and finish picking about noon. The days harvest is measured from each picker then at a central pick up point and again at the mill. Every La Minita coffee bean arrives at the mill the same day it is picked which is essential in producing the world’s best coffee. The milling process is more meticulous than other mills and the beans are watched at each stage of the preparation. When they have reached the point where most beans would be bagged up and exported, LaMinita enters its final stage. Every bean is looked at by trained coffee sorters who go over and over the beans removing any bean that may taint the final cup.

Unlike the other “exotic” coffees of the world, La Minita is in this category for one reason: QUALITY! I once spent a few days with a farmer from Jamaica who wanted to increase his crop. When he was told how to make his coffee better, he replied: “I can sell every bean I can grow for $17.00 a pound; all I want to do is get more production”. Unfortunately this is often the case in the exotics. Jamaican Blue Mountain, Hawaiian Kona and other exotics demand high prices but way too often do not deliver the cup. LaMinita sells for far less than Jamaican and Kona and is always a superb coffee at a reasonable price. Visit the La Minita web site at: www.laminita.com .

This article is written by Jim Cameron without the permission of La Minita and expresses only the opinions of the Author on what he believes to be the best value coffee in the world. To purchase this coffee green to roast at home, contact: www.u-roast-em.com . To purchase this coffee roasted, contact your local coffee roaster or coffee shop.

 

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