Sub-region: Santa Maria de Dota
Process : White Honey
Variety : SL-28
Notes :Jasmine, Oolong, White grape
Roger Urena has been involved in coffee farming since he was a young boy. Both his parents and grandparents were coffee farmers and taught him how to work the land. In his own words, he believes that growing coffee in Tarrazu is a very common activity which has been shared from family to family for years, because it is a good source of income and family growth.
Since Roger was little he was expected to work; helping his father in the dairy and coffee farming activities. At the same time he fulfilled his studies and finished high school. Still, at the age of 15 he started working in coffee by himself, starting with a coffee nursery, and later on started to grow his first coffee plantation.
In 1987 Roger went to work in the United States in order to save money. This way he could invest in his business back home, which he needed for growing his coffee plantations.
Santa Teresa is the name of a mountain peak just to the South East of the town of Santa Maria de Dota. While there are a number of farms on this range Roger’s family always had their farms towards the highest reaches. Roger has always had his eye on the property as that is where his parents and grandparents taught him to grow coffee.
When the grandfather passed away the farm was transferred to one of Roger’s uncles. The uncle’s children began planting some catuai coffee trees at the base of the property, but eventually sold the land to someone from the United States. The new owner from the States decided to grow avocados on the land and shortly after passed away. The children that inherited the land chose to sell it off and Roger took advantage of the situation and the savings he had accumulated by working in the States and bought back the property that he always wanted for a coffee farm of his own. Yet, it was not until 7 years ago that he decided to process his own cherries at
Santa Teresa micro-mill because the prices that the cooperative was offering him were no longer sustainable.
The main farm, Santa Teresa, where the mill is located was acquired by Roger 10 years ago. Its altitude goes from 1600 masl to 2050 masl. It has a total of 60 hectares, but the area where coffee is planted is just 10 hectares. Most of the land remains protected forest. Roger strategically chose a great parcel of his land to build his processing plant. It faces the gentle afternoon sun and is situated on a slope that clouds tend to move away from quickly. In this farm he decided to install a Penagos pulping machine, raised beds inside of a greenhouse, concrete patios, mechanical dryers, and a warehouse. A complete operation.
He decided early on to plant different varieties since he realized that there weren’t many farmers planting different coffees other than Catuai and Caturra in Costa Rica at the time. Knowing the impact variety has in the cup; he thought there is definitely a market for more exotic and different varieties. Therefore he has been growing different varieties like: Rume Sudan, Pacamara, Villalobos, Bourbon, Geisha, SL-28, some kind of dwarf Geisha that locals named “Typica Mejorado”, as well as Catuai.
Roger keeps innovating and recently remodeled one of the oldest houses in his community to be a beautiful coffee shop. The idea is to incentivize local consumption of good quality coffee much of which is coming from his farm in Dota Valley and for people that visit the Tarrazu region to notice its standards. The next project is to install their own dry mill.