La Candelilla, named for its abundance of fireflies, is a collection of nine small farms, owned and operated by the nine Sanchez siblings and their families. They work together in every aspect of production and combine their individual harvests for processing at the mill--run by Hugo and his daughter Marcia--they built together in 2000, giving them greater control over quality, efficiency and cost. Our offering from La Candelilla is a blend of Caturra and Catuai varieties from all nine farms.
Costa Rica began the formation of coffee cooperatives in the mid-20th century, and is one of the most well-developed systems in the world.
Cooperatives strengthen individual farms through education, infrastructure support and access to buyers, so eventually the farmers can leave the co-op and operate independently and competitively. La Candelilla was once part of a co-op, and is a perfect example of this trajectory.
As a micro-mill they produce 15-30 containers of coffee per season. The coffees are fermented in water—as opposed to the dry fermentation process typically found in other Central American countries—leaving a small amount of mucilage on the washed seeds to make a more full-bodied coffee.