So many of the single origin coffees that we get from Stumptown are from small farms all across the world. There's small, and then there is micro, and then there is mico-micro. Marvin Robles, a coffee farmer from Costa Rica's Tarrazu Valley, is of the micro-micro variety. He's basically one guy growing, harvesting and processing coffee at his 2-acre farm and small house up on a hill. When it comes to artisanal coffee growers, he's the real deal. He used to grow coffee and sell it to the cooperative in his area (which means his beans would be mixed with many others before being shipped off), but 5 years ago he set out on his own and began milling his own coffee cherries.
What does that look like for Sr. Robles? It's an extremely DIY, hands-on operation. His farm (named Juan Pablo, after his son - gah, so cute!) is basically his yard. After harvesting the coffee cherries, he depulps them on a Penagos500 in his living room, at a rate of barely ten bags of coffee each day. The coffee is fermented and washed in plastic buckets and then dried on raised beds outside of his house. This is such perfect proof that one doesn't need cutting edge technology or a massively complex system to produce amazing coffee.
His beans make a superb cup of coffee. "Caramel apple" is a common tasting note, and how perfect is that for the deep autumnal vibes that October is known for? A Chemex pour over of this coffee will also yield a veritable fruit salad of flavors: melons, grapes, apples. As the coffee cools and opens up a bit, you might even get a some of honey and lilac, just a nice hint of floral sweetness to round out the fruity notes. Give it a try the next time you're at HubBub.
And while you're enjoying your coffee, just think about how incredible it is that the results of this one man's labor have traveled nearly 4,000 miles across Central and North America to arrive in your cup. The journey of the beans, and the fact that we even have access to an artisan like Marvin Robles, never ceases to amaze us.