Situated along the lush slopes of the Turrialba volcano, Aquiares farm is a case study in progressive, innovative coffee farming. Founded in 1890 by farmers looking to take advantage of Costa Rica´s railroad to the port of Limón, Aquiares would grow to become the largest coffee farm in the country with over 200 employee homes on the farm.
Under the leadership of Alfonso Robelo, the farm underwent a transformation starting in the 1990s; Alfonso created opportunities for workers to purchase their own homes on the estate, evolving the farm into a strong community. Today, the community of Aquiares has its own primary school, a youth sports program, a recycling committee, an early childhood nutrition center, and 96% of Aquiares employees own their own houses.
Alfonso's son, Diego Robelo manages the farm and oversees their Carbon Neutral and Rainforest Alliance certifications. Aquiares devotes 80% of its land to growing high quality coffee and the remaining 20% to conservation.
With over a dozen natural springs and nearly 20 kilometers in streams all protected by buffer zones, Aquiares regularly hosts researchers from around the world who conduct agricultural and environmental studies on their land. As part of Costa Rica’s Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action, Aquiares farm measures its greenhouse gas emissions and plants trees in designated plots to offset the farm's carbon footprint.
Esperanza is an F1 hybrid variety generated by a cross between Sarchimor T-5296 and wild Ethiopia ET-25. This variety is unique to Aquiares and is well suited to the farm’s terroir. Originally identified as L04A05 when it was developed, Aquiares chose the name Esperanza, which translates to 'Hope' in English, to indicate the hope that experimental varieties like this offer for the future of coffee farming in a changing climate.