Roger Mairena is a meticulous man. When we met him, his shirt and pants were both crisp and pressed, his shoes were clean white in contrast to my mud-covered boots. Nestled against the side of a steep hill, coffee trees are carefully organized in rows by varietal. Each tree looks perfect, standing at the same height with their branches looking clean and cared for. Roger explains to me that this is to help improve yield, and to make picking cherries easier. Obsessed with improving his product, he is currently experimenting with different pruning techniques in hopes of losing less ripe cherries during the harvest. He grows several varietals including bourbon, caturra, java, and pachi. His meticulously manicured farm stands in sharp contrast to his neighbor’s, whose tress grow scattered in a haphazard fashion with scraggly limbs stretching above the tree line.
Roger Mairena also runs his own dry mill—a rarity among his neighbors—where he processes his own coffee. This allows him to further experiment with processing methods, and how they impact different varietals. It also allows for the drying of the cherry skins, which can be brewed like a tea.
As one of our first direct trade relationships, we are ecstatic about Don Roger’s coffee. We eagerly look forward to seeing what he will produce next.