Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting

La Candelilla Tarrazú Sun-dried, Highland Costa Rican Coffee.
La Candelilla Tarrazú Estate Farm is located in the municipality of Tarrazú, Costa Rica.  Tarrazú is a magnificent valley, high in the Talamanca Mountains, in the southwest part of Costa Rica. It is one of the first Costa Rican Municipalities, an area that reflects the history of the country and its beginnings.  The area combines breathtaking scenery with great coffee and a rich history.  Tarrazú is a rural community noted throughout the world for its traditional values and its leadership in growing fine Estate coffees. This highland valley also stands out  because of its abundant natural beauty and bountiful resources.  Majestic Mountains, scenic forests, rolling hills and a verdant valley characterize the land and provide a changing kaleidoscope of beauty both in the dry and rainy seasons.
La Candelilla Estate farm is in La Sabana, at the south bank of the Pirris River, approximately 1.2 miles  ( 2 km ) west from the center of San Marcos de Tarrazú, is set on a rise of land between the roaring Pirris River and a small creek.Mr. Victor Mora, the previous owner of this farm and one of the first settlers in the valley, started planting Arabica coffee trees back in the early 1900´s. Mr. Rafael Sánchez , his wife Lucía  ( Mr.  Mora´s daughter ) and their descendants took over the coffee-producing operation in the 1940´s.   After years of planning, the Sánchez family finally opened their coffee mill in the summer of 2000.   This farm consist of  about 70 acres  (28 hectares) of coffee land  with two main houses, a warehouse, the coffee mill and drying patios, which sit right at the center of the farm.  It is a quiet, open land between 1500-1600 meters (4921-5249 feet) above sea level and  away the heavily traveled road from San Marcos to San Lorenzo. Average harvest is estimated at 2000 fanegas (aprox. 2000, 46-kg. bags ) 
The Sánchez Family has two varieties of Arabica coffee trees in the farm: Caturra and Catuai, although some of the old Arábigo trees still remain. Only the ripe coffee cherries are hand-picked, processed, completely sun-dried, and graded in the old Tarrazú methods.   All members of the family participate in the operation. After picking the ripe fruit, it is transported by small trucks through narrow internal roads to the mill. Once at the receiving station, a depulper removes the outer skin from the seeds.  Then, a cylinder called “criba¨”classifies the seeds and transport them to the fermentation tanks.  The washing channel  removes the mucilage from the seeds and further classifies them.The coffee beans are then transported to patios or traditional drying decks  for 100% sun-drying.  Members of the Sánchez Family  constantly turn the coffee over using wooden paddles or their bare hands.   Mechanical dryers are never used in the process in order to obtain an excellent quality coffee.The parchment coffee is then transported to the warehouse were it rests for a period of time until it is run through a huller. The green coffee is then carefully sorted to remove any defects.  Only the highest grade of  their sun-dried Tarrazú coffees are labeled  ¨ La Candelilla Tarrazú ¨ for export.The owners of La Candelilla Tarrazú Estate are committed to implement environmentally-friendly practices. The skins of the coffee or ¨Broza¨ are transformed into organic fertilizer to be used within the farm. Water-treatment facilities were built in order to avoid any damage to the nearby creek and the Pirris River.Underlying the mission of the owners of  La Candelilla Tarrazú Estate is the determination to produce quality coffee, while holding a deep respect for individuals inside and outside the Estate and for the communities and environment of which they are a part.

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