The ARBAR micromill is owned by the Arrieta Barboza family. That includes Carlos and Maria, and their children Yessica, Karen, Esteban and Jose Ignacio.
The mill name "ARBAR" comes from the combined family names - Carlos ARietta and Maria BARboza - ARBAR, clever eh! Their house is right next to their micromill, which is laid out immaculately. Some of their more unusual varietals grow around the edges of the house and on a gentle rise that leads to a magnificent view of the Western Valley. We’ve been enjoying the fruits of their labour for eight years now, but this is only their fifth production year of the much-coveted Geisha plants.
The mill is located in the Western Valley region near to the town of Lourdes de Naranjo. It's located at 1,600 meters above sea level and on the 4 surrounding farms that are run by the family they grow mostly Caturra, Catuai + a tiny bit of Villa Sarchi, Kenia and Geisha.
- La Casa - mostly planted with Geisha and Kenya!
- La Isla - run by Maria’s niece and only just starting to produce coffee, it sits at 1,400 m.a.s.l. and 1.4 hectares in size, and is planted with Villa Sarchi, Kenya, Geisha and Ethiopia
- El Oasis - slightly smaller than El Manantial and produces around 6,000 kg of fresh cherries each year
- El Manantial - around 3 hectares in size and produces around 8,500 kg of fresh cherries each year (amounts to just over 1,000 kg of green coffee when processed)
Carlos runs the farm with his wife and children, Maria Isabel, Yessica, Karen, Esteban and Jose Ignacio. He has owned this farm for almost twenty years but only started processing the coffee himself in 2014 (while still paying someone else to pulp it for him). He hadn't been able to present his coffee to a single buyer previously, so he would send it to the exporter we use in Costa Rica and, thankfully, that's how we found him!
They operate mostly Organic processes, but they're not Organic certified. They believe in the value of biodiversity on the farms, and plants like fruit trees are positioned among the coffee plants to provide shade and to help the soil. These trees also provide food for the family. They even have a few sheep and other animals, with the farm being as self-sufficient as possible. They have one full-time employee, who lives on the farm.