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COSTA RICA: CERRO SAN LUIS

TASTES LIKE: NUTMEG, BLACK TEA, DRIED FIG, RED CURRANT

12oz / 340g BAGS. Mug not included

Tastes like: Nutmeg, Black Tea, Dried Fig, Red Currant
Region: Grecia, West Valley
Farm: San Luis Micromill, Finca La Alquimia
Varietal: Villa Sarchi
Processing: White Honey

We are very excited to offer you this uniquely refined single-varietal microlot coffee.

WATCH SAM CUP THIS COFFEE AND FIND OUT HOW IT TASTES

 

In the West Valley of Grecia, the San Luis Micromill at La Alquimia Farm has processed this  Villa Sarchi coffee in a style called White Honey. 

Honey Process

These beans have no actual honey, despite their name and sticky appearance. The process originated in Costa Rica and uses less water than “natural” or “washed” process coffees.

The White Honey process is a specific process developed by Cerro San Luis Micromill.

Freshly harvested and sorted cherries are delivered to the mill and promptly depulped. After this, the coffee is placed directly onto raised beds for a few days at a minimal thickness and then transferred to a covered patio where it is turned regularly until the drying process is complete

Fruit Removal: Fruit skin is removed within 24 hours of harvest; all or some of the mucilage is left to dry on the seeds
Fermentation: Occurs throughout the drying process (until seeds reach a moisture content of 11%)
Drying Time: 18–25 days on average
Profile: Can express some fruity/pulpy/jammy flavours or caramel, sugar sweetness and nuttiness

The Honey process is similar to the Brazilian post-harvest process known as Pulped Natural. Like the Pulped Natural methodology, Honey coffee is de-pulped to remove the skin of the cherry, and the coffee seed is allowed to dry with some or all of its sticky fruit mucilage intact. 

This process retains some of the desirable characteristics of Natural coffee, like a heavy body, sweet fruitiness with lower acidity, and deep chocolate notes.

The most obvious benefit to the Honey process is the various flavour characteristics that can emerge through fermentation and exposure. On the other hand, the exposed fruit material does create more risk for the producers, as it requires more labour in drying, which is why it can cost more.

Check out this video from our importer; It goes into detail about the process:  

MICROLOT

Microlots from Costa Rica are typically sourced from producers who have invested not only in growing their farms, but also in building and operating their own processing facilities, typically called "micromills." Micromills typically yield fewer than 1,000 bags annually, and are often independently owned by a family or small group of producers. Microlots in Costa Rica are separated out based on differentiated characterizations such as processing, variety, or some other aspect.

Microlots carry the highest quality as well as the highest level of traceability. Our importers Costa Rican office in the capital city of San José: Oxcart Coffee is a full-service import-export operation that allows us to work directly with growers, build better connections and keep a closer eye on the quality and logistics of all coffee shipments leaving Costa Rica.

VILLA SARCHI VARIETAL

Due to the logistics of farms and washing stations, we often get single-origin coffees with multiple varieties. However, since we are dealing with one farm, Finca La Alquimia, we can know exactly which plant these beans came from. Having the same varietal throughout roasting means ultimate consistency. 

Villa Sarchi is a naturally occurring dwarf Bourbon mutation discovered in Sarchi, Costa Rica in the mid-20th century.

CERO SAN LUIS MICROMILL

Cerro San Luis Micromill is a family business run by two siblings and their spouses, who own and operate both farms and a small mill in Grecia, in the West Valley. In the interest of improving their quality and remaining competitive, they have focused on growing different varieties, and about 4 years ago they replaced their older stock with 10 or more different types of coffee, including Caturra, Red and Orange Bourbon, SL-28, Catuai, Villa Sarchi, and Maragogype.

The family's farms are adjacent to one another, but the plots are given separate names for lot separation purposes, and the mill is located at the family home, just a few miles away. After harvesting, the cherry is brought right to the family home, where they are able to do a variety of different processes, from washed and honeys to natural.

As is common at mills in Costa Rica, at Cerro San Luis the type of honey is decided by how much mucilage is left on the coffee after depulping.

ABOUT COSTA RICAN COFFEE:

 Coffee was planted in Costa Rica in the late 1700s, and it was the first Central American country to have a fully established coffee industry.

Lcafe is the national coffee association, an NGO that assists in the agricultural and commercial development of the Costa Rican coffee market. It is funded by an export tax on all coffee, which is used for scientific research into Arabica genetics and biology, plant pathology, soil and water analysis, and industry oversight. 

Lcafe exists to guarantee that contract terms for Costa Rican coffee ensure the farmer receives 80% of the “free on board” price, where the ownership and price risks are transferred from the farmer/seller to the buyer.

Costa Rica contributes less than 1% of the world’s coffee production, yet it has a strong reputation for producing excellent, easy-to-drink coffee. 

One way that Costa Rica has differentiated itself from coffee-growing nations is through the diversity of profiles in its growing regions, despite its relatively small geographical size. 

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