Fernando and Angie own coffee plantations in the Western Valley of Costa Rica. This region has been called one of the most complex due to its microclimates. Morning sunshine, afternoon rain, volcanic soils and high elevations without frost… coffee growing paradise! This region also accumulates an extremely high percentage of Cup of Excellence winners.
Their estate is located at more than 1800 meters above sea level. Their goal is to find the most ideal processing methods for each variety that they harvest.
Fernando is an agricultural engineer and has been cultivating new hybrid F-1 coffee varieties. These have been developed by recognized coffee research organizations worldwide, including the World Coffee Research, with the intention of developing genetic diversity. These varieties are stronger against climate change and plant diseases than their local counterparts and have a higher production yield.
Angie recently acquired her Q-grader certification. Her tasting skills and dedication means that the quality of the coffee they produce will only continue to improve by combining their knowledge in cultivation all the way to processing, roasting, and up to the final cup result.
These varieties make their land not only more productive than average but result in amazing quality coffees with high SCA cupping scores. Gaia participates every year in the Specialty Coffee Association’s Cup of Excellence competitions, where only the best coffees in the world take part.
THE MILENIO VARIETY
The Milenio Varietal is a cross-breed between Sarchimor and Rume Sudan. It has very good cup quality at elevations above 1300 meters and is well-adapted to agroforestry conditions. It has a large fruit size and the cherry has more mucilage, making it intrinsically fruitier and sweeter than other varieties.
F1 Hybrid varieties are created by crossing genetically distinct parents (for example, a wild Ethiopian variety x Caturra). The offspring of the cross are first-generation (F1) hybrids. F1 Hybrids are notable because they tend to:
1. Have significantly higher production than non-hybrids.
2. Maintain high cup quality ideal for the specialty coffee market.
3. Are disease resistant (need significantly fewer agrochemicals)
F-1 hybrids are the hope for a sustainable future in the coffee industry!