Flecha Roja Costa Rica
- June 2018
- Written by : J. Mlodzinski
Green Coffee Logistics Manager / Green Coffee Buyer
Since its inception, our Flecha Roja single-origin offering has always come from Dota, in the heart of the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. The area is known for its rich volcanic soil, high elevations, regular seasonal rains, warm sunny days and cool nights. These conditions, it turns out, are ideal for coffee growing, making Tarrazu the source of the best coffees Costa Rica has to offer.
This first lots in our 2018 Flecha Roja Costa Rica lineup come from Dota in Tarrazu, as usual, and were delivered by our old friend and partner Roberto Mata. But there is a slight wrinkle this year: after more than 20 years of leadership as the General Manager of the Coopedota cooperative, Roberto decided last year to go in a different direction, starting a new business with his son, Michael. They call it M&M Pura Vida: the first part of the name refers to the Mata and Montero families (Michael is also part of the Montero coffee family) and the second, of course, is Costa Rica’s unofficial national slogan. The first coffees in our 2018 Flecha Roja lineup come from this new father-and-son operation and mark an exciting new beginning for M&M Pura Vida, Intelligentsia and our Flecha Roja offering.
Roberto brought everything he learned over a coffee career that has spanned decades to the design of the M&M Pura Vida mill, where everything is planned with specific intent and executed with precise attention to detail. But Roberto and Michael aren’t merely master millers. They are farmers, first and foremost, with a track record of implementing effective agronomic practices on their farms and helping their neighbors resisting disease, optimize inputs, increase yields and ensure the longevity of coffee farms in the community.
Coffee from the farms that the Mata and Montero families own and operate, including Montes de Oro, Las Nubes, El Llano, and La Tuna, have all found their way into our Flecha Roja Costa Rica offering over the many years they were part of the Coopedota cooperative.
Now, less than than one year after making his transition, Roberto has returned to the Flecha Roja lineup with his new family business. During that time, he designed, built and put into operation a fully functioning wet mill in his backyard next to two dozen raised drying beds.
I am always amazed at the seemingly endless spring of ingenuity and energy Roberto and Michael possess. After so many years of consistent innovation and reliable delivery of high-quality coffees, I shouldn’t be be surprised by the early successes of M&M Pura Vida. Roberto isn’t. He is preternaturally humble, but hard work and success have become the standard for everything he does. He insists that everything we decide to do together is “no problem.” “It’s easy,” he likes to say. “You just do it”.
It is not easy, of course. You don’t “just do it.” It takes years of patient learning, constant studying and careful adjustment to be as successful over as long a period of time as Roberto has. We are delighted to welcome M&M Pura Vida to the Intelligentsia Direct Trade family and our perennial Flecha Roja Costa Rica offering.