The Don Eli farm in Costa Rica

Since 2020, we have been regularly visiting the Montero family and their Don Eli farm and always look forward to spending time together because their love for coffee, hospitality and the land can be felt in everything they do.

Third generation coffee

The family has been passionately growing coffee in the mountains of Tarrazú, Costa Rica for three generations. Located at an altitude of 1,900 meters, this region is known for its volcanic soils, which produce some of the best coffee in the country. Eli, Jacob's grandfather, worked in coffee farming since he was a child, as did his father, Carlos Montero. But the difficulties in the coffee business could no longer be ignored because cooperation with the region's collectives was no longer lucrative due to low coffee prices. So Carlos set out to create new opportunities for his family through Specialty Coffee and eventually took over the farm.

Specialty Coffee since 2014

Today, the entire family is heavily involved in Don Eli Coffee Farm and is one of the best specialty coffee producers in Costa Rica. Since their first harvest in 2014 as a specialty coffee producer, they have been able to invest sustainably in their farm, focus on innovative processing methods and ensure high quality. They consciously left mass production behind to maintain the value of "quality over quantity".

Carlos knows how important it is to have great soil without chemicals and therefore works on sustainable practices on his farms. He has a nanoplot in which he has not used any chemicals for many years and would like to expand this nanoplot called "Chamaco" as an experiment for the future. Don Eli Coffee always strives to deliver the best that Costa Rica's soils have to offer.

Jacob Montero prepares the coffee cherries

His son Jacob (27 years old) is the operations manager. He monitors the processing in the wetmill and the quality control of the lots. He also has a degree in economics, which is very useful for the accounting of the family business. Coffee varieties such as Catuai, Caturra and Typica are traditionally grown on the farms. However, in recent years they have also planted new varieties such as Geisha, Bourbón, Sl28 and Mundo Novo. When processing in the wetmill, they work with different processes such as natural, honey and washed.

The love of experimenting

Jacob told us on our first visit that he would like to experiment more, but he lacked confidence that they would be able to sell these lots. This is how the idea of ​​a joint exclusive lot was born, which Jacob would experimentally prepare according to our wishes. The inspiration for the processing came from a very sought-after lot from Ethiopia, where the coffee cherries were fermented for 72 hours in bags in the absence of oxygen. However, for our experiment we chose only 48 hours with a precise protocol of various variables such as pH, temperature and Brix degree. And then No.1 was born. An exceptionally aromatic coffee with tropical notes and a round mouthfeel. Due to the popularity of this coffee, we started another experiment the following year - our No.2

Drying the special lots is of great importance for the farm. They always try to dry our best lots very slowly and covered in the shade. The drying process usually takes between 18 and 40 days.

In 2021 Jacob took part in the Cup of Excellence for the first time and took 8th place, in 2022 he even took 6th place. We are thrilled by this family's dedication and look forward to more years together and are excited about many wonderful flavors from Costa Rica.