Finca Las Brumas is located in Cañuela de Naranjo, in Costa Rica’s lush Western Valley. The farm has been in the family of Greivin Méndez since, 1967 and has been passed down through three generations. When Greivin’s father passed away in 2017, he inherited the farm. He is one of 7 kids, but even though he is young at 35 years old, his siblings are all professionals and work in other industries. Greivin holds the torch and carries on the tradition and is the sole family member who works the farm’s three hectares.
The name Las Brumas (The Mists) was given due to the fact that most of the year the place where the farm is located is very cloudy, regardless of the season of the year. Greivin’s grandfather noticed the plumes of cloud that would blanket the hillsides and, thus, named the farm accordingly. One of the biggest challenges for Greivin is diminished productivity on his plantation. With only 3 hectares, the most important objective for the future is to increase yields and to improve quality. Luckily he has support in doing this! He is a member of Coopronaranjo, one of the most important coffee cooperatives in Costa Rica. With their support, he will soon achieve his objectives.
The Growers’ Cooperative and Multiple Services of Naranjo (Coopronaranjo) was founded in 1968 by 98 coffee growing families Since its creation, Coopronaranjo has become the centre of economic growth in the canton of Naranjo, located in Costa Rica’s lush Western Valley. Approximately 95% of its membership is small farmers, farming on fewer than 10 hectares of land.Coopronaranjo have recently launched a renovation program, encouraging members to renew their coffee plantations with varieties displaying greater productivity, tolerance to rust and with an excellent cup profile. Producers are planting lots by variety which allows them to harvest a single variety on the same day or successive days in a row, which helps in creating separate lots according to variety.
The cooperative also separates microlots of exceptional quality – usually according to farm and/or variety and process. This year (and in his father’s time before him) Las Brumas qualified for specialty micro-lot status! All coffee is selectively hand-picked and is then delivered directly to the cooperative’s central wet mill (around 11 km away), where it is pulped by a Penagos pulper and further sorted according to weight and size of bean. In the case of his Red Honey lots, the resulting coffee is taken to the African beds with 100% of the mucilage intact. Here it will dry for a period of 12 to 15 days, always being turned regularly, depending on the climate at the time. By helping farmers to place small lots such as this one on the specialty market, Coopronaranjo feels it is making a great effort towards encouraging producers in the activities that will increase the potential of the program in the future and encourage young people to come back to farming