Five Sisters and Their Incredible Micro Mill in Costa Rica

A lot of the origin travel that we do at ReAnimator is for the purpose of maintaining and strengthening our relationships with our partner farmers who we buy coffee from year over year. In Costa Rica, we always make sure to visit with the Vindas family at Divino Niño every year, where we can all hang out a bit, talk about this season’s crop, and see what the goals are for next year. It helps us to strengthen the connection to the coffees, and also allows us to ensure we’re representing them properly once we get everything back to the US. 

In addition to visiting old friends, another important part of traveling is discovery. This past March, while in Costa Rica, we traveled to a neighboring micro mill in the Tarrazú region called Granitos del Altura del Ortiz. Micro mills are extremely common in Costa Rica, where farmers have made the decision to become self-reliant, milling and processing their own coffees for export, eliminating the middle man, and taking full control of the process. 

Cherry drying at Granitos Micro Mill

Granitos was founded by Omar Calderon in 2012, who, as a coffee farmer, had dreamed of operating his own mill for years. With encouragement from his wife and daughters, he finally took the plunge. However, with his own micro mill came more labor, as he would still need to tend to his coffee shrubs. The solution was his five daughters, who are now fully in control of all of the milling and processing at Granitos. 

A model of Granitos made by the Calderons.

As far as we're aware, Granitos is one of the few micro mills in Costa Rica that is entirely run by women, and even more unique, by five sisters. The women are still extremely young, and their work ethic, eye for detail, and commitment to quality is unrivaled. We had the pleasure of spending some time with Johanna Calderon, drinking fruit juice, and seeing their impressive milling operation. It was an unforgettable day. 

Here we are!

Which finally brings us back to the cupping table, where we were blown away by a lot called Ortíz 2000, grown at Granitos at a staggering 2100 meters above sea level. This white honey processed coffee has a stunning cleanliness and sweetness, due in part to that elevation and climate at Granitos, and also the care paid by Johanna and her sisters during that white honey fermentation process. In the cup, we’re tasting white grape, honey, nectarine, and brown sugar.

We’re honored to be roasting this coffee, and we look forward to many more years of visits with the Calderons, as well as continued discoveries in Costa Rica and beyond.