Costa Rica Obata MariaJosé
Costa Rica Obata MariaJosé comes from Fulcrum’s Partner & VP Blas’ family’s farm in Central Valley. From the start of a seed, this coffee has been touched by the members of Blas’ family in every step of the way.
Obata is a cross between Villa Sarchi (Arabica) and Timor (Arabica & Robusta) coffee varieties. It was first bred in Brazil, and introduced to Costa Rica in 2014. Due to its Robusta grandparent, Obata is resistant to the coffee leaf rust called La Roya, a devastating plant disease for farmers, especially in Latin America.
“Until 5 years ago, my niece and brother in law would often tell me that they were looking to sell their farm because growing coffee was not profitable anymore,” said Blas.
An increasing number of farms has been impacted by La Roya due to climate change, and Blas’ family’s farm was no exception. But the new Obata seeds gave them hope – just 2 years after planting, they harvested up to 40% more coffee cherries while using only one third of the fungicides. When it was time to process the fresh-picked coffees, they decided to use the natural processing method to conserve water usage and contribute to the Costa Rican government’s effort to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021.
There’s a common misconception that hybrid coffees don’t taste as good as pure Arabica varieties because they are distant offspring of Robusta—the other major coffee variety known to be less sweet. However, when the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica conducted a blind-tasting in 2016, the Obata coffee scored higher than some of the other Arabica varieties like Caturra and Catuai. This also means great potential for other hybrid varieties, giving hopes to the farmers that they can plant more productive, resilient, and efficient varieties without sacrificing cup quality.
We’re the first roaster in Seattle to feature the Obata variety. It is so juicy and lively with watermelon, lemonade, and strawberry notes. It’s delicious enough to shake the paradigm against hybrid coffees.
Producer: MariaJosé Vega Alfaro and Family.
Taste Notes: Juicy and lively with Meyer lemon, strawberry, and watermelon notes
Region: Central Valley, Costa Rica
Altitude: 1,500 MASL
Variety: Obata (Sarchimor)