Online Coffee Store Offers Some of the Best in the World: Meet Hato Viejo CoffeeApr 15, 2022 03:09PM ● By Virginia Dean
Photo's provided by Hato Viejo Coffee.
Hato Viejo Coffee is a local subscription-based business offering freshly roasted coffee from the Dominican Republic, known for producing some of the best beans in the world. Certified organically grown, the coffee is always freshly roasted and packed to order. The new shop is located out of Lebanon, NH, and offers Dark Roast, Blend, Peaberry, Red Honey, Medium Roast, and Decaf. The Dark Roast is rich and flavorful with a hint of chocolate and fruit.
"If you like a dark roast but don't enjoy the bitterness, this is the coffee for you," says Hato Viejo Coffee owner and founder Yaniris McLenithan who was born in the Dominican Republic, the seventh of nine children, and raised near the Hato Viejo river on a mountain where her family had a farm of 100+ acres. There, her mother used to roast coffee beans with a bit of sugar in a pan over a wood fire.
McLenithan, who currently lives in New Hampshire with her husband, Dan, and children, said she chose the name Hato Viejo for her start-up business to preserve its history and connection to her family's small coffee farm.
"I do not want the name forgotten for my nephews and my children to always know where they came from," she said.
The Medium Roast is on the lighter side with a pleasant mouthfeel, smooth to drink with a fruity after taste. The Blend is a 60/40 mix of medium and dark roast. It is a nice balance of dark and nutty with fruity, a quality flavor for the morning or served after a meal with something sweet. The Red Honey process is a natural process applied to the ripe coffee fruit. While drying, some of the fruit remains attached and oxidizes, giving the drying coffee a red hue – hence, the name Red Honey. The process produces a fruity sweeter taste when brewed and is a medium roast.
Peaberry is a genetic mutation and has developed from a single seed making a rounder and more uniform seed. It is unique not only for its shape but also for its taste which is commonly described as brighter, juicier, and sweet. It is a full city roast and is on the darker side, with a hint of sweetness and natural flavor of the coffee still present. Finally, the Decaf is a decaffeinated blend using water. The green coffee is immersed in water to extract the caffeine. Decaf is a full city roast – not quite a dark roast and beyond a medium roast.
The small Caribbean nation has the perfect coffee-growing climate for cultivating specialty beans, with warm and humid conditions associated with the tropics. Production is based mainly in the mountain regions, in the highlands, which form at least one-half of the area of Hispaniola. It has remained as the principal crop of small-scale farmers.
"Dominican coffee is wonderfully rich and recognized for its low acidity and lack of bitterness," said McLenithan. "Most of the coffee is grown in high elevations, between 2-5,000 feet. The plants in those elevations have to grow in harsh conditions, making the plants take longer to grow and have more time to develop more complex and flavorful sugars."
The Dominican Republic has six coffee regions, each of which has a unique flavor profile. The main coffee beans produced are Arabica and some Robusta.
Hato Viejo's coffee, from the Cibao Valley, is full-bodied with hints of nuttiness and earthiness and is roasted weekly and packed to order. McLenithan said she was propelled to start her business to "bring to her new home what she was missing from her old home."
"And I was going to figure out how to do it, the right way," she said. "It had to be the best coffee to be had. It had to be grown responsibly, sustainably, and I needed to know that the people growing it, my countrymen and women, would be paid fairly for it. I am so proud to share Hato Viejo Coffee and a little piece of heritage with you."
The crawl, walk, run business analogy holds true for Hato Viejo, McLenithan noted. As they continue to build their subscribers, following on social media, loyalty in the grocery stores, and customers at the local farmer's markets, however, will help to transition to a brick-and-mortar business in the Upper Valley where they have a few ideas that they know their community and coffee drinkers will appreciate.
Hato Viejo sells its coffee products through a few different channels. It can be found at the Lebanon, Enfield, Andover, Hartford, and Hartland farmer's markets. Their coffee can also be purchased at Dan & Whit's, Lebanon COOP, Bangkok Thai Food Express Market, and Fat Sheep Farm. From its website, coffee is offered by the bag as well as through subscriptions.
"If you're a regular coffee drinker, subscriptions are a great way to save a few bucks and automate the transaction," said McLenithan. "Like most other businesses this year, we are seeing rising costs. We see this when we purchase coffee from the farm in the Dominican. Typically, pricing on a commodity like coffee is set at the harvest (October/November) for the year. But more so, we see it in the cost of shipping/delivery. From the cost of us importing/shipping the raw coffee. The cost to process/roast the coffee. As well as shipping or delivering the roasted coffee to our customers. Our business is growing, and we have been trying to use the added scale to make larger purchases to offset increased prices. The challenge is that it ties up your capital so that the day-to-day expenses can be tight."
Prices vary from a one-time purchase of $32-$36; a three-month subscription of around $87; a 6-month subscription of roughly $168; and a subscribe and save for $27. Free shipping and delivery on orders over $25.
Hato Viejo Coffee is located at 25 Stone Hill Road, Lebanon, NH 03766. Call 603-276-0598 or visit www.hatoviejocoffee.com for further information and to begin a subscription.