Costa Rica Finca de Licho 2011-2012


Bean name Costa Rica Finca de Licho 2011-2012
Country Costa Rica
Region Naranjo
Other info Villa Sarchi & Caturra (around 30%) varietals


So an old favourite returns in this Costa Rican Licho, a coffee that we first bought in Cup of Excellence auctions a number of years back in 2007, where it finished 4th. This is now its fourth year with us and I'm super proud to offer it. It is also a coffee that shows our development as a roaster. First we bought this coffee in the Cup of Excellence program (a great way to meet a grower). Then we bought it from an import broker; because we are a small coffee buyer, they helped us bring in this coffee. Then this year, I went out to the farm and did the deal on the farm with one of the brothers as a direct trade agreement.

It looked for a while that with rising prices we might not see this coffee this year, so I acted before that happened and made it one of our direct trade agreements.

I love the fact that I walked onto the farm after cupping a particular lot in the exporter's office, asked how much they wanted, and there was a short conference. They came back and told me, then we shook hands. Then we got back into the 4x4 and drove away, and 5 months later we sell it to you.

Grown in the region of Naranjo in the volcanic Northern Cordiles corridor of the Western Valley by the Aguilera brothers, it is cultivated at an altitude of 1500 metres above sea level. The varietal is carefully selected Villa Sarchi with some Caturra (around 30%).

This coffee is honey processed, which is like the pulped natural method, so the fruit is removed from the seed of the coffee bush and left to dry. The main difference being that when the cherry is removed there is no water involved so mucilage sticks to the bean. This can be dangerous, but it's necessary in these parts of Costa Rica where water is limited; in this area of Naranjo water is a precious commodity so this method suits the location very well. Whilst drying, the coffee ends up clustering because there is so much mucilage so it either needs to be turned regularly to stop this happening or it has to be broken up. Over-fermentation can happen at this stage and you can end up with a not good cup. But the Aguilera brothers are well versed in this method and are some of the most skilled in Costa Rica.

In the cup this coffee is delicious and has become one of our staple coffees. All the things that has made this coffee great over the past four years are still there: the front end sweet honey, the delicious mid palate of raspberry, and the distinctive melted chocolate aftertaste that's smooth and balanced. Also the amazing clean tastes stay super clean. But this year's just seems a tiny bit sweeter and that aftertaste of chocolate has grown. I did cup them side by side when I got back from Costa Rica, and this was certainly reflected on the cupping table. This is one coffee I'm very proud to offer as a direct trade coffee.

Roasting Information:
Medium to medium dark, from before second to just into it, nowhere else. This one needs to be treated very carefully.

"Quick Look" Guide:
Raspberry, honey, melted chocolate, smooth, very clean.

Good Filter: Yes, Good Espresso: Yes

Cupping notes

Clean cup 7/8
Sweetness 8/8
Acidity 7/8
Mouthfeel 7/8
Flavour 8/8
Aftertaste 7/8
Balance 7/8
Overall 8/8
Correction +36
Total 94

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