Luz Marina Trujillo grew up in a family of coffee producers and talks happily about spending her childhood playing with coffee seeds instead of dolls. Now, she produces coffee on her estate Santa Elena in the highlands of Costa Rica’s most famous coffee-growing region, Tarrazú. Luz’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 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 exported.
Luz 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.
Honey process coffees are often described as being between a washed and natural process coffee, both in the technical aspects of the process and the resulting flavors in the cup. The process requires the removal of the skin of the coffee cherry and leaving a percentage of the mucilage attached to the seed. After the skin is removed from the cherry, the mucilage covered seed is then allowed to dry, either on raised beds or on concrete patios. This results in a cup profile that is fruitier and sweeter than a washed process, but not as over-the-top as a natural.