Finca El Orvo - Costa Rica

Finca El Orvo - Costa Rica

Finca El Orvo

Natural - Costa Rica

SOHO is proud to present Finca El Orvo, produced by the father-son team at Don Sabino Micromill. Farmers Steven Vargas and his father have produced coffee their whole lives, and their meticulous attention to detail presents itself in the cup at jammy raspberry, syrupy caramel and delicate green apple.

Brewing Tips

We love Finca El Orvo because of its rich sweetness and versatility for brewing. The acidity should be bright and clean, and enhance the jammy flavours in your cup. Here's some tips we found helpful while brewing:

  • If you find your coffee is too bright or not sweet enough, try extending the time in which the water has contact with the coffee. You can do this by extending your brew time, OR you can reduce your final yield and keep your extraction time the same.
  • Changing your brew temperature can help highlight the malic acid and apple flavours in the cup.
  • This coffee may be more soluble than other coffees you've worked with, and you may need to use a finer grind setting than your used to.

    For Espresso:

    21.5g in, 38g out in 27-30 seconds

    For Pour Over:

    Recipe: 95 degrees Celcius, 20g in, 300ml out at 3 minutes 15 seconds

    About Don Sabino Micromill

    Don Sabino Micromill is a father-son project that produces meticulous coffees in what seems like "simple" conditions, but with incredible care and attention to detail.

    Though the mill was established in 2011, Steven Vargas and his father have both been in coffee their whole lives. They own several plots of farmland in the area, where they grow a number of different varieties: Villa Sarchi is their primary crop, but they also grow, Catuai, Caturra, Gesha, SL-28, and a small amount of Mokka. For several of the mill's early years, the Vargas drying beds were full of only Naturals, but lately, Steven is attempting a small amount of Honey coffee as well, “because Luis likes it,” he says of Luis Arocha, the senior green-coffee buyer for Oxcart Coffee: Cafe Imports Latin America, who is based out of the office in San José.

    The Don Sabino micromill manages the farms El Apostol, El Orvo, and La Roca.

    About Microlots

    Microlots from Costa Rica are typically sourced from producers who have invested not only in growing their farms, but also in building and operating their own processing facilities, typically called "micromills." Micromills typically yield fewer than 1,000 bags annually, and are often independently owned by a family or small group of producers. Microlots in Costa Rica are separated out based on differentiated characterizations such as processing, variety, or some other aspect. Microlots carry the highest quality as well as the highest level of traceability.

    Cafe Import's Costa Rican office in the capital city of San José: Oxcart Coffee – Cafe Imports Latin America, is a full-service import-export operation that allows them to work directly with growers, build better connections and keep a closer eye on the quality and logistics of all coffee shipments leaving Costa Rica bound for Cafe Imports’ sales offices around the globe.

    About Natural Processing

    Natural coffees are typically processed the day they are harvested, and are first sorted for ripeness and quality before being rinsed clean of debris. In many places this initial sorting happens via a float tank: Damaged and defective cherries will float to the top to be removed, while high-quality coffee will sink to the bottom to be cleaned and dried. After sorting, cherries are spread on raised drying beds, table, tarps, or patios, where they will be rotated constantly throughout the course of drying. Drying can take an average of 30–40 days, depending on the weather.

    About Costa Rica

    As the first Central American country to fully establish a coffee industry, the history of coffee in Costa Rica is long and full of great economic significance. Coffee was planted in Costa Rica in the late 1700s but it was not until the 1820s that coffee became a major agricultural export for the country. In 1846, national output was greatly increased by the completion of a main road to Puntarenas, allowing farmers to more readily bring their coffee from their farms to market in oxcarts—which remained the way most small farmers transported their coffee until the 1920s.

    In 1933, the national coffee association, Icafe (Instituto del Café de Costa Rica), was established as an NGO designed to assist with the agricultural and commercial development of the Costa Rican coffee market. It is funded by a 1.5% export tax on all Costa Rican coffee, which contributes to the organization’s $7 million budget, used for scientific research into Arabica genetics and biology, plant pathology, soil and water analysis, and oversight of the national coffee industry. Among other things, Icafe exists to guarantee that contract terms for Costa Rican coffee ensure the farmer receives 80% of the FOB price (“free on board,” the point at which the ownership and price risks are transferred from the farmer/seller to the buyer).

    Though Costa Rica contributes less than 1% of the world’s coffee production, it has a strong reputation for producing relatively good, if often mild quality. One way that Costa Rica has hoped to differentiate itself among coffee-growing nations is through the diversity of profiles in its growing regions, despite the country’s relatively small geographical size. Tarrazú might be the most famous of the regions: Its high altitudes contribute to its coffees’ crisp acidity. West Valley—known for its high percentage of Cup of Excellence winners—grows an abundance of both the Costa Rica–specific varieties Villa Sarchi and Villa Lobos, as well as some of the more “experimental” varieties that have come here, such as SL-28 and Gesha. Tres Ríos coffee has a reputation for a smooth, milder profile—perhaps more “easy drinking” with toffee sweetness and soft citrus than the more complex or dynamic Costas available. Central Valley has some of the most distinct weather patterns in the country, with well-defined wet and dry seasons: We have found some of the best natural processed coffees in this region.


    About Costa Rica Varietals

    Although this offering is not traceable to a single variety, it is likely comprised of Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon, Villa Sarchi, Villalobos, Sarchimor, Venecia, and Costa Rica 95 — the most commonly cultivated varieties in this region.

    In recent years, coffee producers have become increasingly interested in using variety selection as another way to stand out in the competitive market: SL-28 and Gesha are becoming more common, and local varieties like Villa Sarchi (a dwarf Bourbon mutation found near the town of Sarchi) and Venesia (a Caturra mutation).


    About Central Valley

    The Central Valley of Costa Rica is the heart of the country’s coffee industry. The high elevation, consistent weather patterns, frequent rains, and volcanic soil contribute to the wide range of offerings we are able to source form this region. Producers in the Central Valley often grow traditional hybrids and apply some of Costa Rica’s most forward-thinking processing techniques.


    About Cafe Imports' Sourcing

    Motivated by the desire to work directly with growers, build better connections, and keep a closer eye on the quality and logistics of all coffee shipments leaving Costa Rica bound for Cafe Imports’ sales offices around the globe, Cafe Imports opened the doors of their import-export operation, Oxcart Coffee, in 2018.

    Since then, their green buyer, Luis Arocha, and their supply chain specialist, Adriana Abarca, have overseen the sourcing, development, and movement of some of the world’s finest coffees from Costa Rica. In everything they do, they look to build reliable, supportive, and consistent relationships at origin and the work they do through Oxcart is no different.

    "Oxcart is a Costa Rican export company, but Cafe Imports is a worldwide company,” Luis says. “The idea is to be able to share all that knowledge and experience of all of our years with everybody—bringing coffee people and producers to the Oxcart office to create and be more part of the community. The coffee community is growing in Costa Rica and I want to be part of it.” These days, Luis, Adriana, and the rest of the Oxcart teamwork with over fifteen micromills, all of which they have worked with for more than five years as their relationships in Costa Rica began long before the inception of Oxcart.

    Through their work at Oxcart, their aim is to continue to work with the same micromills year after year to focus on building quality with our longstanding partners. The Oxcart Coffee office is not simply a place to do the business of selling coffee, but also a resource for local producers. By hosting open cuppings at their onsite roasting lab, offering opportunities for consultation and education, and creating a space for candid conversations about coffee, quality, and production, they hope to continue to establish Oxcart as a place where their producer partners can grow and prosper with us.


    Your roaster, Maddie.

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