Villa Triunfo Starmaya, Red honey - west valley, costa rica

Quick Facts

Producer: Villa Triunfo Farm, Pitalillo Wet Mill, Sustainable Management Services (SMS/ECOM)

Country: Costa Rica

Region: Naranjo, West Valley

Elevation: 1,400 MASL

Variety: Starmaya (Marsellesa x Ethiopian/Sudanese natural mutant)

Process: Red Honey

Harvest: November - February


Finca Villa Triunfo is located in the upper part of Naranjo with a nice view of the Central Valley of Costa Rica. It has volcanic soils, a cool climate and cold temperatures during the night which provide perfect growing conditions for coffee. This farm is unique in that it has Starmaya and Marsellesa cultivars which were both developed as a joint venture between ECOM and CIRAD (agricultural development in France).

ECOM and CIRAD created Starmaya aiming for greater productivity, better cup, and disease resistance. Starmaya is a cross between Marsellesa (Tymor hybrid and Villa Sarchi) and Ethiopian (Ethiopian and Sudanese) varietals. Although Starmaya is a new hybrid in its F1 stage (first generation) it is also the very first F1 hybrid that is able to be propagated by seed. Typically F1 hybrids must be propagated by rooting clippings since their genetic material is not stable and propagating seeds results in highly varied results and plants. The fact that Starmaya can be propagated with seed greatly reduces the costs associated with reproduction.

Flavor Notes

Tropical Fruit, Grape, Balance

This coffee displays a perfect balance of variety, and the effects of pre-harvest techniques and post harvest processing. Starmaya is typically very bright, and citric in the cup and often displays some light grassy flavors in the finish. However this lot is all tropical fruit, grape and sweetness.

SMS believes that the sometimes lackluster cup performance of some hybrids was in large part due to improper fertilization. Through years of research SMS has found that hybrids can require more than four times the amount of nutrition as traditional varieties as well as completely different amounts of minerals and other micronutrients.

Since Villa Triunfo is largely an experimental farm, this lot of Starmaya has been receiving the most cutting edge fertilization regimen available. This paired with perfect post harvest processing in the red honey method changed the typical citric profile of this coffee to what we see here today; tropical fruit, grapes, deep saturated sweetness that is almost cola-like with enough citrus and acidity to keep the cup lively.

Processing Information

Red Honey

This coffee was produced in the Red Honey method which leaves some residual mucilage on the seed prior to drying. After drying, the parchment coffee appears red in color resulting in the “Red Honey” distinction. With this process, a bit of the coffee fruit flavors make their way into the cup as well.

Regional Information

Naranjo, West Valley

This area was originally named Los Naranjos by Judas Tado Corrales Saenz in 1833 when he found an abundance of orange (naranjo) trees growing in the middle of the forest. Years later in 1887 when Costa Rica adopted the canton system (provinces subdivided into “cantons”) the region was officially named Naranjo.

Since its discovery, the area has always played an important role in agricultural cultivation; originally for oranges, and currently for coffee. In present day, the Naranjo region could be considered one of the best and most important growing regions for quality coffee in Costa Rica due to its record in award-winning coffees.

Over the past few years, Naranjo can now boast the highest concentration of Cup of Excellence award winning farms in all of Costa Rica, with four farms being within a one kilometer distance from each other.

The coffee areas of Naranjo focus on a small area from about 1,200 to 1,500 meters above sea level. It is this unique strip of land surrounding a bowl-like valley where a perfect micro climate is created for growing award-winning coffees.

New in 2109

Hybrids and Plant Management

SMS is continuously exploring the future of coffee hybrids. This year we saw a huge breakthrough in the nutrition requirements for these coffees and hope to continue with this progress.

It is SMS's goal to be able to develop specific nutrition and care recommendations for each hybrid varietal available in any particular growing region. After unlocking the true ability and potential of a plant, the future will be to create best-fit post harvest processing methods.

All of this is for one ultimate goal: to decrease susceptibility to disease and pests while increasing crop yields and quality.

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