A Passion for Coffee

The 2022 CoopeAgri Don Claudio coffee, for the first time, was accepted into the Cup of Excellence competition, a landmark for the cooperative.

Don Claudio Gamboa

One November, Don Claudio Gamboa set out on a path that has improved the economy of Costa Rica’s southernmost coffee growing region. He decided that “each man for himself” would not work. Instead, he worked tirelessly to organize and became the first president of the now-influential agricultural cooperative CoopeAgri. The result nearly 60 years later is a region in which employment statistics, education, transportation, healthcare, and residential infrastructure continually improve in spite of the challenging mountainous terrain.

In CoopeAgri, larger coffee ranches and smallholders join forces. Instead of shipping all “good” coffee to other countries and drinking the harvest’s remnants, CoopeAgri makes all grades of coffee available to Costa Ricans. Locally-roasted beans and brewed coffee are on the shelves, especially in the cafés the coop supports and encourages. In fact, although it is still considered a developing country, the economy of Costa Rica has steadily improved over the past 25 years.

Costa Rica is 1/167th the size of Brazil and 1/22th the size of Colombia. It now produces, keeps for its own use, and exports beans that compete with coffee giants around the world. More than 8,000 – some sources report 6,000 and others 10,000 – coffee-growing members and an equal number of sugarcane growers continue the work. Don Claudio, who died in 1999, stands as an example of what can happen when people work together to accomplish difficult projects.

The September Coffee of the Month

SHB (Strictly Hard Bean), EB (European Preparation), and Fancy classifications give an idea of the quality of Don Claudio Costa Rica coffee, this month’s special variety.

Members of the club receive a regular shipment, along with tasting cues. Only a few of these specialty beans become part of the continuing Holler Roast coffee shop, so consider joining the club for a year – or six months, or three months – of tasting exploration.


About Don Claudio Costa Rica Coffee

Cultivars: Caturri, Catuai
Processing Method: Washed and sun-dried
Region: Brunco, Costa Rica
Harvest: December – February
Certification: SHP EB Fancy
Cupping Notes: Medium acidity and body, citrus, dried dates, milk chocolate. Sweet, clean finish
Altitude: 1400-2100 m
Aroma: Floral, brown sugar, fruit

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