We rely on Costa Rica for some of our most popular coffees. When it comes down to it, the more we develop our palates and try a wide range of coffees the more we learn to appreciate balance and cleanliness. While some of the coffees in Africa maybe get us the most excited because of their outstanding vibrance and “loud” cups, sweet balanced Costa Rican coffees consistently and easily win us over.
When looking through our catalogue and options for the upcoming harvests, we put a lot of thought into where each coffee “fits” into the lineup. We don’t want to end up with 10 Kenyans and Ethiopians, nor do we want all South Americans or mild Centrals. Having a wide selection of flavor profiles not only allows you, our customers, to really experience the variety terroir has on the cup but also caters to different preferences. Roasting mostly in the medium to light end of the spectrum means that there will be people who really want a full and “bold” (hate that term) coffee and wouldn’t be able to find it if we only had African coffees. A rich Colombian or Brazil based blend may better hit the spot in those cases.
Our Costa Rican coffees fit what could be described as right in the middle of the spectrum. They tend to be more mild, with medium body, medium acidity, high sweetness and less intensely flavored. Notes like Sugar Browning flavors, Almond, Milk Chocolate, Raspberry, and Florals would all be common in these coffees. In our mind we see these coffees as being our most approachable and widely loved coffees by people first exploring specialty coffees.
Our long term relationship with Diego Guardia of Hacienda Sonora has added tremendously to the quality we are able to source in Costa Rica. Not only are his coffees from Sonora Estate always spectacular, he also has found other producers who have become the backbone of our Costa Rican Selection. Our washed Costa Rican the last two years has been from Monte Brisas, who both us and Diego visited for the first time two years ago. Diego works on coordinating our prized Las Lajas coffees from Francisca and Oscar Chacon and also two additional honey processed coffees from El Cedral and Cafe Directo this year! We have been able to find some of the best honey processed coffees anywhere through these producers; a processing method that adds some complexity and fruit/floral notes to these mild and balanced coffees.
No matter your preferences, try to work your way through our Costa Rica selection this year. We have multiple natural processed lots, a Bourbon Variety from Sonora, and several from Las Lajas. We have three different honey processed coffees. And we have the rockstar of washed Costa Ricans; Monte Brisas (which is technically a “white honey” because they leave a tiny bit of mucilage on when drying - but they call it washed and it has more of a washed character). They range from deep dark fruit to light caramel and apple (Brisas) and all are worth taking the time to slowly brew on a Saturday morning in a Chemex and savor as long as possible.