Costa Rica La Papaya

Costa Rica La Papaya

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Gerardo Mata Solís
Finca La Papaya

Dota, Tarrazú


1850 m

January 2021

Golden Raisin | Orange | Honey

This is Moka, a compact plant with small cherry believed to be a dwarf mutation of Bourbon. It has been less thoroughly studied than other Bourbon mutations, at least in part because it is so uncommon: it is rarely encountered anywhere, and almost never on smallholder farms in the mountains of Central America like the one where this lot was grown.

Moka is named for the port city of Mokha in Yemen, which was the hub of the international coffee trade centuries ago, before coffee became one of the world’s leading beverages. At the time, Yemen didn’t just corner the trade in coffee. It was also the first to roast and brew coffee, the first to serve it in coffeehouses, and for centuries, the only place it was grown commercially. The seed for those early coffee farms came across the Red Sea from what is today Ethiopia, and was believed to include both Typica and Bourbon. And perhaps also Moka.

Somehow, 250 Moka plants found their way to Tarrazú, Costa Rica, and Finca La Papaya. Its owner, Gerardo Mata Solís, is a member of the Coopedota cooperative that has been an Intelligentsia Direct Trade partner since 2005. He began participating in the Coopedota microlot program in 2019, when he delivered his entire Moka harvest — barely 100 pounds — to the cooperative. This is the third straight season we have purchased the entire annual Moka harvest from La Papaya.

— Michael Sheridan
Director of Sourcing and Shared Value