Produced in the West Valley region of Costa Rica near Santiago, the Monte Crisol brand has been developed exclusively by CoopePalmares, R.L.  A blend of shade-grown Caturra and Catuai varieties grown around 1300 meters (4,265 feet), Monte Crisol is harvested between November and February, with the flowering taking place in March. They use the washed process, with drying accomplished on patios. Most exportation is done during the months of March through June. The average rainfall is 1800mm per year, and the temperature is approximately 23 degrees Celsius – excellent conditions for growing exceptional coffee crops.

CoopePalmares is a fully functioning cooperative with about 1350 members, all receiving full benefits. Benefits include medical services to all associates and their families, financial services for the growers, and economical contribution through the Madre Verde Foundation.

The Co-op is also committed to the environment. They have implemented forest protection programs; they are certified ISO 9001/14001; and they minimize water consumption and process optimization during milling. Solid wastes are transformed into organic fertilizers.


Most people think of India as a leading producer of fine teas. Few associate India with top grade specialty coffees. India has been a producer and exporter of exceptional coffees for over 150 years! Today, it is the fifth largest producer of Arabica coffee in the world, behind Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Ethiopia.

Its romance with coffee goes back nearly 400 years. Legend credits a Muslim pilgrim, Baba Budan, with bringing back seven coffee seeds from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He is said to have planted them near his mountain cave in Chikmahlur, Karnataka State, now considered the cradle of Indian coffee.

Commercial cultivation of coffee in India began in 1840 when the British established coffee plantations throughout the mountains of Southern India. They found the tropical climate, high altitude, sunny slopes, ample rainfall, soil rich in humus content, and well drained subsoil ideal for coffee cultivation.

The color, shape and size of the beans, as well as their aroma and taste, are the results of special post-harvest processing. Indian coffee was historically shipped to Europe in wooden sailing vessels, taking four to six months to sail around the Cape of Good Hope. Stored below the water line in a humid atmosphere, it underwent a transformation, turning from bright green to pale gold, and its acidity disappeared. This “Monsooning” process was later systematically replicated in India with the goal to consistently reproduce the familiar flavor from those historic voyages.

Monsooning exposes natural coffee beans (in layers 4″-6″ thick, in well ventilated warehouses with brick/concrete floors) to moisture-laden monsoon winds from the Arabian Sea. They use only top grade Arabica Cherry-AB beans that have already been dry processed. Raked, bulked and re-bagged, at the end of the monsoon season this coffee is re-bulked, graded again, bagged and moved to a drier region for 12-16 weeks of storage where the beans absorb moisture in stages, swelling to twice their original size and developing colors from pale gold to light brown. The end result is a unique flavor that’s spicy, earthy and smoky, with tobacco and wood notes. It is medium in both body and acidity, with great spicy aroma. Enjoy the monsoon!


Coffeeberry, the fruit of the coffee plant, scores at the top of antioxidant testing, showing great promise in anti-aging skin creams. Enjoy the benefits of coffee in the morning – 2 ways!

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Tracie Burket
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