My great grandparents have always worked with sugar cane, milk and coffee, but coffee has always been the most important crop. Most of our farms were inherited and then with time we have bought more land.
When they started, coffee families were big families, everyone worked on the field and they make a living out of it, helping them send their children to school. The children will help back at the farm, assisting and picking the coffee. On those days coffee was transported by oxcarts to the receiving stations.
Coffee was our main income. My dad was able to provide for his 13 children, which will all help out in one way or another during the harvest season. Coffee is a seasonal product so it is important to know how to plan and use that income during all year round. Nowadays some of my brothers and sisters and myself, the Salas Alpizar family, follow on this tradition making coffee also our main income.
At 16, I decided to quit school, and start in the coffee business. I started with 1 block of land, a pasture, that my dad gave me. I took over this challenge and during the first 2 years it was a difficult one. Working 6 hours for a brother every morning, to earn enough money to pay for the help and plant my piece of land which was a very steep one. After this 2 years came my first harvest, the result of all my hard work and my begging in coffee.
I have learned a lot with time and I have used different varietals, starting with Caturra, Catuaí rojo, Catuaí Amarillo, Catimores 5175, Costa Rica 95, Villa Sarchi and again Caturra. These changes in varietals came with the changes in climate, plagues and diseases. In 1990 we had to substitute some coffee lots for grass for livestock, since the coffee had such a low price. Once the price of coffee recovered we went back to coffee.
Our coffee is cultivated between 1100 to 1200 masl, and we are slowly moving to the variety San Isidro 48, for its good cup, resistance to leave rust and high productivity. Also, because of the price of the coffee, we have focused in producing quality over quantity, in a sustainable way that would make us profitable and attractive to today’s market.
What I hope for coffee is for it to become a more stable industry, not having this low price cycles every 10 years. That we adapt to the climate and world changes with more sustainable and environmental friendly practices.
For me coffee is a way of living, it has been in my family for as long as I can remember and I love it. Coffee help raised my three kids and thanks to coffee we are this great family. That is why I encourage my kids to follow my steps in coffee as a sustainable activity in time, and worth undertaking from generation to generation.
|Farm Name||El Cañal|
|Farmer/Rep.||Delmar Salas Alpízar|
|Size (30kg boxes)||14.5|
|City||Volio, San Ramón, Alajuela|
|Program||Costa Rica 2019|
|Aroma/Flavor||cinamonn, raisin, mixed nuts, yogurt, pinapple, pumpkin spice, apple pie, sweet ginger, candy ginger, dusted cocoa, maple syrup, nutmeg|
|Acidity||citric, malic, tartaric, complex, bright|
|Other||creamy, very sweet, consitent, juicy body, round|
|Coffee Growing Area||6|
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)||959.03|
|Auction Lot Size (kg)||435|