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The Local Beet: Prestigious national award and a second anniversary give MadCap Coffee reasons to celebrate

MadCap Coffee features their Award-Winning Los Lobos to patrons at the iconic Ferry Building in San Francisco

MadCap Coffee features their Award-Winning Los Lobos to patrons at the iconic Ferry Building in San Francisco /MadCap Coffee

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About the Award-Winning Los Lobos coffee:

Produced by: Luis and Jim Alfaro of Rio Jorco Estate

Region: Tarrazu

Varietal: 100% Catturra

Grown at: 1,650 masl

Harvest: November 2009-March 2010

Processing: Washed and Sun dried on raised patio beds

The Good Food Award: Rio Jorco's Los Lobos Coffee roasted by MadCap Coffee

The Good Food Award: Rio Jorco's Los Lobos Coffee roasted by MadCap Coffee /MadCap Coffee

Proud Good Food Award Honorees, MadCap Coffee & Rio Jorco Estate

Proud Good Food Award Honorees, MadCap Coffee & Rio Jorco Estate /MadCap Coffee

Last week at San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building farmers market, the MadCap Coffee team stood alongside such coffee greats as Blue Bottle and George Howell, a pioneer in specialty coffee. MadCap was receiving honors as part of the Good Food Awards for their commitment to curating a coffee that is not just about the perfection in the cup, but also about the soil and their relationships with the farmers who grow their beans. 

“Our coffee was submitted along with 160 other coffees across the country and graded by the country’s most respected coffee tasters,” says Ryan Knapp, head roaster at MadCap. “Being 1 of the 10 award winners for coffee across the country is truly an honor, not to mention that Alice Waters even signed our award.”

The Good Food Awards selected MadCap not only for its good coffee, but also for their commitment to sourcing the best, most sustainably grown coffees directly from farmers across the world. In this case, it was MadCap’s Los Lobos coffee from the Rio Jorco Estate in Costa Rica that received the Good Food Award. The Rio Jorco owners also joined the MadCap team in San Francisco to receive their Good Food recognition.

MadCap prides itself on its farm to table coffee experience. Anyone coming into MadCap’s shop can ask about their farmers, how the coffee is grown, what the soil conditions are like and how it’s harvested. MadCap knows the answers to these questions because they work with the growers. 

And this is certainly the case of the Los Lobos coffee from the Rio Jorco Estate. Knapp knows all the details of the farm. “The Los Lobos (The Wolves) coffee comes from the highest part of the farm 1,650 meters. The microclimate of this area, with its fog and colder weather, help to produce the unique quality of this coffee,” says Knapp. “Los Lobos coffee grows on the steep banks of the farm, protected by natural shade and tropical forest.”

Selecting, harvesting and drying the coffee takes a great deal of attention on behalf of the growers, and MadCap works hard to find growers like Rio Jorco who care so much about the quality of the coffee at harvest. “All of the coffee is hand picked at its peak of ripeness and then carefully processed and sun dried. The sun drying is done on drying beds that are turned several times an hour and overseen by Ramon the beneficio manager.”

Knapp continues to explain Rio Jorco’s meticulous harvesting process, “The coffee is then carefully peeled and hand selected by the hands of workers that have many years of experience in selecting only the best coffee. This coffee has rated very well and was ranked in the top 20 coffees of Costa Rica in the Cup of Excellence Competition.”

As for Rio Jorco’s commitment to sustainability? “The actual plantation is located near a large bird corridor, protected by the owners of Rio Jorco. Three-fourths of the Rio Jorco estate are a protected Tropical forest,” describes Knapp.

Knapp feels that the attention good coffee received by the Awards will raise the bar for coffee across the US. “Just knowing that coffee was a category in the Good Food Awards this year was incredible to hear. So often coffee is seen as simply an afterthought, even in the highest levels of intentionality throughout the farm to table movement.”

This hopefully means change not just at coffee shops as they strive for better quality, but restaurant coffee as well, says Knapp. “I cannot tell you the number of times I'll be at a well respected restaurant and see that they are serving poor coffee to pair with their delicious hand crafted deserts. This award is a huge step for specialty coffee in my option.”

To read more about MadCap’s commitment to coffee excellence, check out their blog. It's their second birthday, too, on Saturday, Jan. 22. and everyone is invited to join the celebrations throughout the afternoon that include coffee samples and an in-house barista competition beginning at 5:30 p.m.

And perhaps give the Los Lobos a try. What’s the flavor? Knapp describes the Los Lobos as a drip coffee to be “bright, juicy and clean with notes of cherry cola. When pulled as an espresso, expect a flavor yield of blackberry, strawberry jam, maple syrup and graham cracker.”

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