Don Sabino Micromill is a father-son project that produces meticulous coffees in what seems like “simple” conditions, but with incredible care and attention to detail.
Though the mill was established in 2011, Steven Vargas and his father have both been in coffee their whole lives. They own several plots of farmland in the area, where they grow a number of different varieties: Villa Sarchi is their primary crop, but they also grow, Catuai, Caturra, Gesha, SL-28, and a small amount of Mokka. For several of the mill’s early years, the Vargas drying beds were full of only Naturals, but lately Steven is attempting a small amount of Honey coffee as well, “because Luis likes it,” he says of Luis Arocha, the senior green-coffee buyer for Oxcart Coffee: Cafe Imports Latin America, who is based out of the office in San José.
While the Naturals go straight from the tree to the drying beds after being sorted, Don Sabino’s Honey coffees are slightly more complicated. Steven spreads the seeds out on raised beds directly after they are depulped, and then covers them with tarps for two days. After that, they are exposed to the air and sun, and rotated constantly just like the Naturals are: The two days under wraps allows them to generate and retain heat to speed the fermentation process, after which they take about 15 days or so to completely dry.