In 1967, brothers Leonel, Eduardo and Gerardo Vindas purchased their first hectares of land in the Palmichal region, from a cattle farmer.
Taking over the land, they continued to produce milk and cheese for the region’s 1,500 residents, but they were interested in growing coffee — an idea that was widely dismissed in the area, given the spectacularly steep slopes of the Tacuaotari Mountains. The brothers were convinced, though, that volcanic soil, the dry climate and the microclimate encouraged by weather from the Pacific, would together create beautiful coffees. And time has proven them right.
They planted their first seedlings near a path that a century earlier had been use by locals to transport food products to Costa Rica’s former capital city of Cartago. And early on, they established a strong relationship with Beneficio Palmichal, a mill owned by the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG), InterAmerican’s parent company, and Ceca, an NKG export company in Costa Rica.
The Vindas brothers have always delivered only 100 percent ripe, red cherry to Palmichal, where it’s pulped and then graded by density using water channels and screen sieves. The coffee is then moved to fermentation tanks for 24 hours and afterward washed with clean mountain water. Finally, the coffee is dried in drum driers at low temperatures and stored in parchment in special silos, to preserve its characteristics. The coffee is hulled and sorted only just before shipment.
Stewards of the Environment
Across the now 75-hectares farm, the Vindas family has taken steps to prevent erosion and protect the nearby rivers — the source of fresh drinking water for their families and the inhabitants of Palmichal and Puriscal.
Beneficio Palmichal and the Vindas brothers have been involved in the protection of the Rio Tabarcia and Rio Negro Watershed — key drinking water sources — and NKG donated 44 hectares of land, so they could act as a refuge and protect the quality of the these rivers.
In this video made several years ago, Leonel Vindas, who is now 67 years old and carries on the family tradition, talks about his passion for the farm, which he dreamed about owning as a boy, and says he’s grateful that coffee has always supported his family and enabled him to pay for his daughter’s education in physical therapy.
“I have been very passionate about coffee,” he says. “I have fought hard to make my farm, and I am ready to take on more challenges.”
Washed: Milk chocolate, caramel and nuts, medium body, clean and well balanced.
Honey: Caramel, almond, dark chocolate; medium-plus body, buttery finish.