Costa Rica, Tarrazu
Costa Rica boasts some of the best coffee in the central America region. Coffee is cultivated at high altitudes, leading to a pleasant acidity and often smooth mouthfeel. Our latest coffee drop had to be from this breath-nation. The coffee has been produced by a Mr. Roger Solis, within the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. Tarrazu is a region which produces some of the best coffee within the nation and this yellow honey truly backs that reputation.
Coffee consistency is synonymous with the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. The capital of San Marcos is approximately 1350 meters above sea level and the surrounding mountains reach 1700 meters. The Tarrazu region is located in the country’s interior mountains, some of the finest coffee from this area are relatively heavy-bodied with a complex aroma. Most of the coffee is Strictly High Grown.
Roger Solis has produced a harvest with the Catuai variety. This plant has been in production for over four decades and is attributed to high yields, reliable quality and provides potential higher profitability for producers.
Guatemala was the first nation to utilise Catuai back in 1970. Honduras followed next in 1983 and finally, Costa Rica in 1985. The Catuai varietal is responsible for over 20% of all coffee produced by these central America nations.
A Catuai harvest typically takes place three years post plantation. The plant responds positively to fertilisation and liming, which determines its productivity to the farmer. In Central America, naturally processing coffee in beds is growing amongst small producers. Our small lot farmer, Roger Solis, has adopted this method of processing, resulting in a fine yellow honey.
What is the honey processing method? It’s somewhere in between washed and natural processing. The cherry peel is removed but some of the flesh, also known as the “mucilage”, is left while the coffee beans are dried. Part of the reason why we call it honey process is to do with the sweet and sticky mucilage. The name has nothing to do with the taste, but these types are coffees are known for their sweet flavours.
Our Costa Rica is a yellow honey, which means there is less mucilage remaining on the bean once it’s been mechanically washed. Honey processing uses less water which comes as a benefit to producers. During the honey process, as the coffee dries, the sticky coating on the outside of the bean oxidises and darkens in colour. The oxidisation begins with a golden yellow colour, which is where the processing for our Costa Rica coffee ends.
As for the final cup, honey-processed coffees tend to be more complex than washed but not as fruity as natural coffees. Our Costa Rica has a complex sweetness, medium acidity and notes of apricot and lemon.