What you should know about DON EVELIO COSTA RICA TARRAZU COFFEE and the valley where it is located
The following article was composed from customer comments and the
idea of a few to produce it. If you have any questions or comments
about it, please let us know.
We hope you enjoy it and that it will help you make a smarter decision.
Are you looking for a low cost Costa Rica Tarrazu gourmet
coffee? If so, beware of companies using the "too
much for too little" tactic to grab customers. It might end
up being more of a headache in the long run, specially for small
coffee houses willing to establish themselves in the gourmet coffee
Such tactic involves creating product packages that include everything
under the sun for a very low price. Strictly Hard Bean coffee, organic
Estate coffee, certificate of origin, hand-picked beans, fair trade,
etc, you name it. These "Tarrazu" coffees can be purchased
for less than $10 and we've even seen them for as low as $3!
Well, if you find one like that, remember: "you get
what you pay for".
Here's why coffee roasting companies offering such products don't
last long or provide bad coffee beans and service:
Providing cheap "gourmet" Tarrazu coffee means that:
The coffee roaster will need to buy more Tarrazu specialty coffee
beans. Some coffee roasters, specially the ones who widely distribute
in a massive scale, demand a lot of coffee beans and resources.
If the coffee roaster wants to provide an increasing amount of Tarrazu
coffee bags to their markets, they will be forced to invest in more
gourmet coffee beans, which are not cheap. That also means that
they will need more coffee masters (which are not paid minimum wage!)
to handle the increase in batches and to monitor the quality risks
and load those extra bags will produce.
The coffee roaster will have to increase quality control and customer
service staff if they want to guarantee replies to customer's problems
within hours. Questions from customers trying to track shipments
account for more than 30% of all issues at customer service support,
however, they take four to five times longer to solve than other
Providing other features like special roasting requirements will
produce the same effect as the shipment tracking does. Special roasting
requirements consumes a lot of our time, so more hours at the roaster
will be needed.
Unlimited gourmet coffee origins? Coffee blends? Varieties?
There is nothing unlimited about specialty coffee. The farms at
the gourmet coffee growing valley of Tarrazu don't have unlimited
capacity to yield unlimited green coffee beans, and coffee mills
and roasters don't have unlimited capacity. Costa Rica Tarrazu coffee
production is quite limited indeed. There is really no such thing
as unlimited Tarrazu specialty coffee supply.
In the coffee industry, the increase in staff and milling roasting
capacity with such low profit is not enough to provide a good service.
Either they won't have enough staff to reply to customer's purchase
orders and inquiries fast, or the roasting equipment will be overloaded.
a few years ago, a well known coffee roaster invested millions
in advertisement offering cheap gourmet coffee for $3.00 per 1 lbs
bag. They quickly grew to more customers they could handle. Today,
they are almost bankrupt. Here's what some of their ex-customers
Their mill and roasting equipment, with single-origin coffee beans,
less than 10 people helping in the operation and no appropriate
storage facilities were selling thousands of pounds of coffee. They
could not afford the extra gourmet coffee beans needed to cover
demand. Their roasting equipment was always way above the load average.
A load above average will result in lousy coffee roasting performance.
Anything higher will result in a drastic drop in quality and output
Their customer service staff replied to emails 36-48 hours later.
Their replies were useless, they would blame problems on the customer
or reply with more questions to figure out the problem, with another
reply coming in 36-48 hours later. At TarrazuCafe.com typical reply
time is 12 hours.
These days, they are trying to survive. They increased their prices
and eliminated many customers to try to improve their "gourmet"
At Tarrazu Cafe, Costa Rica Tarrazu coffee bags are shipped after
a careful quality control process is made. The result is a financially
stable company that has enough revenue to invest in infrastructure
and the right personnel.
You might find lower prices than at Tarrazu Cafe, however, is it
really worth paying less?
Customer service at a coffee roasting company is something
that varies greatly among roasteries. On some, their coffee
is great but their personnel is poorly trained, on others, they
are well trained but are sourcing from the wrong coffee dealers
and in others, there just isn't either good coffee and trained personnel.
If you see a company charging too little for their services, it's
probable that they have to keep costs down to be able to make a
profit. As you know, the first thing that gets cut down on a company
with little profits is personnel, so it's very likely there won't
be enough staff, thus, your gourmet coffee won't ship on schedule
and problems won't be solved fast.
Check the company's "job application" section, if they
have any. If their requirements for a coffee master position is
just "experience with using a coffee roaster", stay away.
They will train the coffee master to fix simple problems and won't
be able to handle the hard stuff. By experience, they will just
pass your problem from one person to the next in the usual ping-pong
manner. It will most likely take days to find someone to solve it
as their high level coffee cupping support staff will probably be
Are you looking for toll free customer service support, 24/7 with
highly experienced people at all times? Then don't look for that
on cheap "gourmet" coffee roasteries. Here's why:
Highly trained people don't get paid the minimum wage.
The toll-free number is free for you, but not for them. Remember
that the company pays the long distance expense of your call to
their toll-free number.
If they want all calls to be responded to within minutes, they need
an excess of staff to handle peak call periods. Thus, more staff
A phone network is not cheap. Each line can average up to $1,000
dollars to set up.
If you are promised all of that, and you will be paying less than
$10 per pound of coffee, they are probably lying to you. Most often,
the person answering your call is at minimum wage and is poorly
trained and is just following a flowchart like those you've seen
on most manuals. "Is your coffee maker connected?". "Is
the light blinking?". "Are you introducing your roasted
whole beans or ground coffee to the machine correctly". Then
the flowchart continues based on your replies. At the end, if the
flowchart won't solve it, they'll put you on hold for a long time
until a higher level "coffee master" or "barista"
person takes care of you.
At Tarrazu Café.com, our customer service staff must already
have experience with just about everything, even coffee farming
and green coffee processing at the mill. They can usually answer
your questions within just minutes.
Beware: most coffee roasters take too long to reply and
work on problems presented by a customer. Make sure they guarantee
fast response times for all service requests.
It's quite common for coffee roasters to claim to have several coffee
origins, including gourmet Tarrazu coffee, to offer. Some origins
are extremely difficult to get. The fact is, some coffee roasters
and coffee houses don't have them. Ask them where their so called
Tarrazu coffee originates and they will tell you the beans where
bought from a shady coffee broker who got it from somewhere South
For example, a coffee roaster warehouse can carry around 45 single-origin
coffees at a given moment. Tracking and labelling every
pound becomes quite a logistics nighmare is you are not prepared.
Adding to that, for each origin there are certain quality
grades that must have some tracking control system to avoid confusion.
We at TarrazuCafe.com, carrying Tarrazu specialty coffee only, have
to be extremely careful at classifying and providing adequate storage
facilities to our green coffee. Most coffee roasters don't even
have the facilities and logistics/storage capacity to handle a diverse
inventory, yet they claim they have over a hundred single-origin
coffees which amount to hundreds of extra hours in dealing with
control processes and logistics problems. Most likely you will end
up buying a "Tarrazu gourmet coffee" which came from a
Brazilian green coffee bag! A coffee roaster cannot be everything
to everybody. The art of gourmet coffee it is more than just roasting.
It takes great care to deliver a good coffee.
If a coffee roaster offer even more than 5 single-origin coffees
with their respective quality grades, it makes no difference what
they tell you, they have probably a mess in their green coffee storage
room. Whether they are expert coffee connoisseurs or not. They will
still have to deal with this storage problem. It won't be easier.
Now, imagine the scenario where a coffee roaster or green coffee
broker claim to provide multiple single-origin coffees (All should
come from multiple sources and brokers, since one single-origin
coffee will usually be traded by the coffee farmer representative
directly.). Do you believe a coffee roaster or green coffee
broker will really provide ALL the coffees they claim to carry if
they have three people in charge of the operation? when they are
just simply lying to you?
So, don't believe the hype. It makes no difference if a coffee roaster
of green coffee broker offers you everything under the sun if they
really don't have the facilities and expertise to do it.
Fact: only about 5 coffee roasting companies and
green coffee brokers in the USA actually provide all single-origin
coffee, and not all can be safely labelled "gourmet coffee."
Ask and beware: ask how many single-origin gourmet
coffees a coffee roaster or green coffee broker actually provide
out of their current inventory and facilities to make a real estimate
of their service. We at Tarrazucafe.com, Gourmet Costa Rica Tarrazu
coffee is what we are and are happy to provide. We are lucky to
work with one of the best single-origin coffees and we focus only
on Tarrazu Costa Rica coffee to do it right and wholly satisfy our
Even if a coffee roaster have inventory availability and storage
capacity at the roastery, inventory back ups are important.
Tarrazu Café does have backups 2-3 times the demand quantity.
Our brands are backed by a unique coffee estate in Costa Rica:
the Don Evelio Costa Rican Tarrazu Coffee
Estate located at the more remote higher altitude lands up the basin.
Thus, we are not like other coffee roasters who depend on slow,
unreliable, questionable sources for their coffee beans. We are
headquartered at the heart of Costa Rica Tarrazu coffee country:
San Marcos de Tarrazu.
Ask and beware: First, most coffee roasters do
not have enough green coffee backups. When they face a peak in demand
they lose customers due to supply failure, it takes days to source
the needed green coffee beans. Sometimes, they do have an inventory
backup, but an old backup that might be 2 to 3 years old. And believe
us, this has happened on even the biggest coffee roasters. Make
sure they do have current coffee crop inventory backups, have the
ideal storage facilities to prevent green coffee quality loss due
to over exposure to climate conditions, and ask whether they use
faster, more reliable sources for inventory backups.
A coffee roasting equipment's performance is just the beginning.
Besides green coffee inventory and production, the ability to ship
fresh roasted, premium, 100% pure certified tarrazu specialty coffee
is one of the main elements to be analyzed when choosing a coffee
Myth and hype: Many coffee roasters claim that
their "Tarrazu coffees" are indeed Tarrazu because they
are certified. Don't be fooled by this. There is still no organization
capable of certifying Tarrazu coffee, although we Tarrazu coffee
farmers in the valley are working hard to create the Tarrazu Specialty
Coffee Association which eventually will fill the vacuum, much like
the Kona Coffee Council does in Hawaii.
Even if their coffees are great, a 1 lbs, $3 Tarrazu coffee bag
is more likely to be a counterfeit Tarrazu coffee. As for the coffee
industry, it might be a great coffee, but as for being truly Tarrazu
coffee, it is way too cheap, its is of low quality when compared
to the real beans, and it behaves differently when roasted. The
good thing is, sooner or later there will be an entity that would
help the Tarrazu coffee farmers certify their coffee as Tarrazu.
Farmers like ourselves are getting more presence in the coffee scene
and the coffee connoisseur are getting to know us better. We are
in a unique position, since our coffee farming and roasting operation
is located right at the heart of the Costa Rica Tarrazu Coffee Valley.
We are THE Tarrazu farmers, roasting our own crop and exporting
to our clients worldwide. Operating from the origin and
our truth in labelling is what is making the gourmet coffee connoisseur
buying from us.
The truth: Buying from the Costa Rica Tarrazu
Coffee farmers directly is the only way to 100% guarantee you are
getting the real Tarrazu coffee beans. Origin and Quality certification
by a third party will eventually come. As of Today, however, no
one, other than the Tarrazu coffee farmers in the valley themselves,
can certify coffees as 100% Tarrazu.
Serving the highly competitive specialty coffee market is a task
that consumes a lot of energy and resources. Authenticity and truth
in labelling is key to survive these days.
Ask and beware: Always ask a coffee roaster what
kind of coffees they are serving. Make sure to ask them details
of the coffee farmers, their farms, their coffee appellation name,
their country. Ask them all these questions for two reasons: Truth
in labelling: the fact that to have coffee appellations such as
Tarrazu in their offerings, the coffee roasters must know all the
details of the land and country that supply the coffees. Beware
of coffee roasters that spend too much money on coffee appellations
they really don't know in detail. Also, some coffee roasters with
less powerful marketing muscle will claim they source from an unknown
coffee broker who they trust. Don't listen to that! The true Tarrazu
gourmet coffee suppliers who will deliver the real Tarrazu gourmet
coffee to your home or business are the Tarrazu farmers themselves.
http://www.Tarrazucafe.com is the best avenue you can take to source
from the gourmet coffee farms in the Tarrazu valley directly.
It is important that your coffee roaster has a clear and
detailed Service Level Agreement. First, because you need
to protect your investment, specially if you are a reseller. You
don't want to find out that the coffee roastery has been shutdown
because they did something they shouldn't have done. Even worse
you are made responsible for something you are really not responsible
TarrazuCafe has one of the most detailed and comprehensive Service
Level Agreement in the Gourmet Coffee industry. It was written by
professionals and perfected over the years. With us, you can be
sure of what you can do as a reseller and what we can do as the
source of Tarrazu gourmet coffee.
Stay away from a coffee roaster that has poor Service Level Agreement.
We've seen some just say "don't do anything wrong". Now,
who or what defines what is wrong in the gourmet coffee industry?
There are a number of phrases and things that coffee roasters use
in their advertisement and web sites that you should know what they
really mean in order to avoid. Some of them are:
Price freeze guarantees: some coffee roasters
promise that their coffee prices will never change. The problem
is, there is no way to predict future changes in the Specialty coffee
industry, changes in economy and inflation or changes in legislation.
Perhaps in 5 years a huge tax will be imposed on coffee roasting
operations, forcing coffee roasters to increase prices, or inflation
will go up exponentially. Avoid any such guarantees as they are
just to convince you to something that is impossible to maintain.
Multiple coffee origins: some coffee roasters
promise multiple number of single-origin coffees to convince you
they are the top roast masters in the market. The truth is, 5 or
more single-origin coffees could slow down a coffee roasting operation.
It all depends on the markets being served. Also, a low power coffee
roasting machine could handle 100 small batches, but a highly powerful
one could handle 1,000. Number of batches per hour really makes
no difference, as it all depends on the size of the roasting equipment
and the load of coffee beans they can take. What really does matter
is that a coffee roaster doesn't roast more single-origin coffees
than it can handle, TarrazuCafe.com does have the ideal equipment
capacity to handle our single origin Costa Rican Tarrazu coffee.
Things don't get complicated at Tarrazucafe.com
"#1 in service!": there is no association
or body that officially rates Coffee roasting companies, at least
not here in Costa Rica.
Most coffee houses, over 90% of them, are actually resellers
of another coffee house or roasting company. They don't
own the farms, coffee mill or roasting equipment. Make sure a coffee
roaster owns the roasting equipment, coffee farms and expertise
you will be depending on. TarrazuCafe.com is not a reseller of another
The usual stolen ideas, graphics or brand, appellation
names: as you browse around dozens and dozens of coffee
roasters web sites, you'll find that some steal some graphics and
text from others or simply put the "Tarrazu" label to
enhanced their lousy coffee. In fact, we've had our copyrighting
and coffee pictures show up in a few other sites. One of our "Competitors"
if you can name them so, blatantly stole one of our coffee farm
pictures and put it in their website. Now they are selling coffee
from Puntarenas, a port in the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Wonder
they are getting their "Tarrazu coffee" from. Perhaps
from China! Also, as mentioned before, a Costa Rica coffee roaster
cannot be everything to everybody nor are able to sell the gourmet
coffee export reserve in the local market. Just ask yourselves why
the export reserve which supposedly is the top 1% of the Costa Rica
coffee crop is widely sold in the country, even in small convenience
stores. Again, either you are a gourmet coffee supplier or you are
not. Stay away from them if you see such behavior, as it is unprofessional,
plus, it can show that the company has no dedication or resources
to even take the bus to the Tarrazu Valley and have some pictures
of gourmet coffee farms taken, or their business have grown so fast
that they have lost focus on their mission and what they originally
intended to be in the first place. Also, don't let pictures of Tarrazu
coffee farms convince you. It's quite common for coffee roasters
to use pictures of the Tarrazu or Costa Rica brand names or extremely
credible statements of situations which they are not actually being
part of. It is specially funny when a Tarrazu-only coffee roaster
puts pictures of Kona farms or Guatemala coffee hills in their marketing
sites or leaflets.
Don't let them fool you! Over time, our customers
have told us of these tactics and they let us know. It makes them
feel tricked or fooled. Have these marketing tactics in mind everytime
you evaluate a gourmet coffee, specially if they claim they sell
gourmet Tarrazu coffee.
Do you know of something we should add? Let TarrazuCafe.com
Here's a few more things that you should take a look at before choosing
a coffee roaster:
Test their customer service responsiveness. Email
their customer service department instead of the sales department.
They'll forward your email to their sales department, but if it
takes too long to forward, it means they don't respond fast.
Take a look around their website for information on their
gourmet coffees. If they hide information or are too general
(like saying Tarrazu Coffee is harvested somewhere in South America),
stay away from them. If they have good specialty coffee beans from
single origins, there's really no reason to hide the fact. Right?
Look for a Our Coffee Farms" or coffee source page. They should make information on their recent gourmet coffee
purchases, roasting equipment upgrades, problems, etc, available
to the public. You can find a link to "Our
Farms" section in http://www.tarrazucafe.com main page.
Take a look at how much dedication they put on their website. Do
they have plenty of FAQs? Information pages?
Why? Because a *smart* coffee farmer/roaster puts answers to the
most asked questions on the website to reduce customer service workload
and improve credibility. And that's a sign of dedication!. :)
And that's it. Don Evelio Coffee farmers thank you
for your patience in reading this article. We hope all this information
helps you make a smarter decision when choosing a coffee roaster
for your gourmet or specialty coffee needs. Let us know if you have
any questions or suggestions on what to add here.