exporting high quality Arabica coffee for over 50 years
Carmen Estate has been producing and exporting high quality Arabica coffee for over 50 years. Carlos Aguilera is the third generation owner of the single estate and mill set up by his grandparents, Efrain and Carmen Franceschi in 1960.
Carmen Estate produces 1,200 bags (60 kg each) of unique quality, high altitude, green coffee beans each year. Carmen consistently places in the top 5 in specialty cupping contests each year and rates 91 on the specialty scale at Coffee Review.
Carmen Estate provides safe and healthy conditions for workers and their families. Adequate healthcare is provided to the families along with a clean working environment and habitat. Children are not permitted to work on the plantation and are provided an education while adults work on the farm.
Carmen’s agricultural practices are based on a set of principles which ensure the best output of the farm while maintaining ecological awareness regarding insect management, soil conservation, protection of natural water resources, waste management and over-all ecosystem conservation.
HARVESTING AND PROCESSING
Each year coffee cherries are manually harvested by the Nôbe-Buglé indigenous people and have been trained to harvest only when the coffee cherries are bright red and fully ripe. The cherries are carefully selected and handpicked, leaving behind the unripe beans to be harvested at a later time. Carmen takes care at every stage of harvesting and processing to maintain optimum results.
Each day, the ripe, bright, red coffee cherries are transported from the field to the mill to be processed as quickly as possible. Advanced, low water usage machinery washes away the skin, pulp, and mucilage from the parchment bean.Using small amounts of water contributes to Carmen’s efforts in ecological conservation. The residues from the milling process are recycled into the farm as organic fertilizer instead of releasing them into the environment at concentrated levels.
If not carefully managed, high concentrations of mucilage produced from processing can damage watersheds and the eco-balance. The parchment beans are pre-dried in the natural sunlight and breezes on concrete patios. Mechanical driers, fueled by coffee parchment, are then used to complete the drying process. After the beans, still in parchment, are dried they are then packed into individual jute bags.
These bags are carefully classified and numbered by lots, then stored in a wooden warehouses or bodegas for a 60 day resting period. Beans are cupped lot by lot in order to determine any errors or defects from the field, harvest, or drying and milling processes. The finest lot samples are taken to the lab and analyzed for fragrance, aroma, body, acidity, flavor and other coffee qualities using industry standards of cupping. The beans are then graded then sorted by size and density before being packed in the final shipping bags.
Finca: Carmen Estate
Owner: Carlos Aguilera
Town / Region: Volcán, Chiriqui
Uncompromised quality maintained through every step of production process.
Varietals: Geisha, Typica, Caturra
Processing: Fully washed
Packaging: Grain Pro and Jute Bags
Harvest Time: December – March
Cup Profile: full-bodied, with hints of caramel, honey, fruit, toasted grains and chocolate
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