Our Coffees Finca El Lago

Finca El Lago
Martin Madrigal Solano

Orange and whiskey marmalade with medium acidity and pecan-like body - medium roast

As a child, Martín Madrigal Solano used to visit El Lago when it was part of his grandfather’s farm. Many years later, after the farm was divided amongst the family, he has been able to buy El Lago and Ojo de Agua from his uncle. Martín’s grandfather planted coffee, his uncle took out the coffee and used the land for cattle, and now it is being returned to coffee. Martín works for the Environment Ministry of Costa Rica, where he helps look after the protected forests and national parks. He is a biologist and conservationist and has been using this knowledge to restore and protect the natural water supplies on the farm and plant endemic trees in addition to coffee. While the farm was used for cattle the area around the springs suffered erosion, so one of the first things Martín did was to fence off the area and plant trees to stop the damage to the surrounding land. Some productive land is sacrificed in this project but in the long-term water to the farm is protected. We often think of farming as simply growing or harvesting a specific crop, but fundamental to this is how the micro-climate, topography, water and soil resources are managed. This year Martín will complete his renovation of the farm by planting the remaining two hectares at the highest part of the farm, around 1950m. This is very high altitude for coffee in Costa Rica and historically the threat of frost would dissuade anyone planting coffee there. However this threat has diminished over the last few years as the micro-climate in this area has changed and Martín is now more confident to plant coffee at this altitude.