Not Just a Coffee Farm…but a Community

Not Just a Coffee Farm…but a Community

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High on the fertile slopes of Costa Rica´s Turrialba Volcano lays the Aquiares Estate. It is a unique farming model that symbiotically integrates a community of 2000 people strong with a coffee farm that completely surrounds the town. Aquiares has a century-long tradition of growing high-quality Arabica coffee, protecting its stunning natural setting, and supporting its local people.



Di Bella Coffee proudly sources green coffee beans from the Aquiares estate through our Crop to Cup coffee buying programme. We often showcase these single origin coffees in our Brisbane retail café and are also available for wholesale purchase. For this blog, Moshe Tawil, Crop to Cup’s raw coffee specialist, explains what makes the Aquiares estate and its coffee so unique and special.

Aquiares blog cupping


How did you come to find out about the Aquiares estate and develop such a positive working relationship with the owners?

We met them at the Sinetrcafe event in Costa Rica in November 2015. Diego, the son of the owner, decided to approach Phil (Di Bella). The event hosted Phil as a guest speaker so after Phil finished talking, Diego approached Phil & invited him to visit.

Phil liked him & the family very much & we started to buy from them on that same week as the coffees were amazing.

What are the owners like to work with?

Very reliable & professional. They place considerable emphasis on quality & development as well as long term social & environmental sustainability.

Meeting aquiares


Describe the sustainability efforts and practices implemented by the owners of Aquiares.

They work with ongoing development projects to encourage and sustain environmental development.

They also work with state of the art water saving techniques in order to recycle water and avoid contamination at all costs.

Do you feel these are having a positive impact on the surrounding environment?

Definitely, as they have reduced the usage of water to process washed coffees by several thousand litres per tonne. They also make sure to dispose adequately all remains of coffee & utilise them for farming projects.


Coffee cherry


How do you feel the sustainability efforts put in place at the Aquiares estate affect the quality and flavour of the coffee?

The coffee has incredibly natural aspects on the cup as well as clearly clean notes which lasts much longer than other coffees. It also provides a multidimensional characteristic to the cup which is a quality of well-produced coffees.

Describe the quality of the coffee from the Aquiares estate.

Clean & sharp, floral with amazing fruity notes

How does the coffee rate against other plantations?

I would say it complements the other producers we use as it covers a particular component which provides the fruity & flowery note to some of our blends.


Cupping and cherries


What flavour profiles should we expect from coffee grown in this region?

In general terms, Costa Ricans coffees derive their value from high acidity as well as floral & fruit dimension.

These are clean coffees with literally no defects both on the cup & on appearance.
Also, in general terms, they provide a sharper aspect to many blends, making them unique to use with milk based products but also amazing on straight black coffees.


In what ways does the Aquiares Estate support the local community and its workers?

They work with local schools & communities, not only providing help & assistance, but being a responsible organisation that actually helps to build the community.

Aquiares itself has been credited for building the community surrounding the farm by giving back to the local families through funding for housing, schooling and child care



How important is this to you when looking for a plantation to partner with?

his is extremely important as we can see that they have a long term plan to continue developing our supply. This shows that the producer is not just looking out for a transaction earning, rather that the long term development can help all parties involved.

What is your most stand-out memory from visiting the estate?

The positive attitude of the team & the egalitarian feeling that many of the owners have with all the workers. It’s something that you can feel straight away. Also the level of professionalism from all individuals involved.
Another aspect that interested me was that all members at the farm seemed to be interested in promoting their coffees. They took pride & saw the success of the farm as their own.

Aquiares with di Bella team 

The Aquiares Estate is just one of the plantations Di Bella Coffee sources beans from directly. Stay tuned for more blogs covering our partnerships with coffee farmers.

To learn more about the Aquiares Estate visit To enquire about the availability of purchasing wholesale green beans from the Aquiares Estate please call 07 3252 585