Costa Rica Santa Elena Estate

Costa Rica Santa Elena Estate

By: Dana Foster

Our friend Luz Marina Trujillo grew up in a family of coffee producers and talks happily about spending her childhood playing with coffee beans instead of dolls. Now, she produces one of the finest coffees available on her estate Santa Elena in the highlands of Costa Rica’s most famous coffee-growing region, Tarrazú. Luz Marina’s coffee is grown under shade, and the perfectly ripe cherries are hand-picked and sorted for quality at her mill. The cherries are then carefully de-pulped, washed, and dried slowly on the patios at Finca Santa Elena to fully develop acidity and depth of flavor. Additional care is given to her coffee in the “reposo” stage, resting in parchment for at least 30 days after drying before being milled and shipped to Atlas.

Like many of our favorite growers, Luz Marina takes a holistic approach to sustainability, minimizing synthetic inputs and utilizing a closed-loop fertilizing system that composts discarded coffee pulp using red-wiggler worms. Her water treatment system meets the Costa Rican government’s high environmental standards and preserves the river’s cleanliness that flows through the estate. She offers her seasonal employees outstanding housing, health care, and a state-of-the-art drinking water filtration system.

Tarrazú coffee is known for being crisp and bright, and Luz Marina’s coffee offers that classic profile, a lightly syrupy body, sweetness, and an elegant finish. Luz Marina was one of the first estate owners in Costa Rica to produce Pulped Natural “Honey” (Miel) coffee in volume, adding a dimension of cotton candy and butterscotch to the sophisticated washed profile. In recent years Luz Marina has also been producing full natural process coffees and separating lots from subdivisions of the large Santa Elena Estate, making for a dynamic list of offerings from one exciting producer.

The 2023 arrivals represent the best quality coffee that we have ever tasted from Santa Elena. With a bright berry acidity and medium body, Luzma’s washed coffee is balanced with notes of cherry, raisin, cranberry, hazelnut, dried berry, caramel, and toffee. The complexity of the coffee is heightened in the honey process, resulting in flavors of plum, lemon, cherry, tangerine, blood orange, raspberry, fruit punch, and chocolate with a juicy berry acidity and medium body. Congratulations to Luzma on continuing to elevate quality–she is a true master of her craft!

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