||Costa Rica Finca El Potrero Black Honey Bourbon 2017-(2018)
This coffee is one of five we have from this farm and mill. In the past we had five different coffees and so I had high hopes that my dreams would come true for a third year running. On my most recent visit I asked the guys if they'd be able to work their magic again, and I was delighted when they were like, "yeah of course, Steve!"
Originally I asked if it'd be possible for them to apply three different honey processes to the same coffee. In my mind I was really hoping for a white, a red and a black honey. They told me they could do better than that, and we ended up with those three plus a washed version and a black honey Geisha! Fast forward to this year and we have five different coffees, but they're a little different than last time. This year we have yellow, red and black honeyed Bourbons, and a natural Bourbon and a white honey Geisha!!
So, what's all this about honeying I hear you ask? Well, this is a question I get asked quite a lot so I decided I should make a video with someone who really knows his stuff! Clicky clicky click ...
Or if you're a fan of words ... OK my friend, here we go!
When the coffee cherry is picked you either leave the cherry on (natural processing) or remove it fairly shortly after picking. When you remove the seed from the fruit (the coffee bean as we know it), there's a sticky mucilage that's usually removed using fermentation for washed processing (as this one is). This requires an amount of water and can pollute local rivers and streams (don't worry, they're processing the water at the mill in this case). Add to this the problem of a general lack of water in Costa Rica. The pulped natural and honey process is a perfect solution. There is a kind of de-plulper that can remove this mucilage and can be set to different degrees.
It started off as three types, but the range expanded over time: in the coffee world there is white honey (removes the most), gold honey, yellow honey, red honey and black honey.
This coffee comes from the Tarrazú region of Costa Rica, which is a really rather famous region for its coffee growing. The mill is called Puente Tarrazú and is located in Santa Cruz de Leon Cortes. The mill produces around 800 bags per year, so it's fairly small scale in the grand scheme of things.
El Potrero is around 22 hectares in size, with 20 of those involved in coffee production. It sits at an altitude of 1,600 metres above sea level.
In the cup expect a smash of watermelon, with lime zest acidity and a red apple sweetness. But wait 'til the end when you get a silky, thick and chewy mouthfeel.
Country: Costa Rica
Farm: Finca El Potrero
Mill: Puente Tarrazú
Farmer: Rodolfo Rivera
Farm size: 22 hectares
Coffee growing area: 20 hectares
Altitude: 1,600 m.a.s.l.
Processing system: Black Honey
Medium – through first crack and towards the end of the gap before second, then drop.
"Quick Look" Guide
Watermelon, lime zest, red apple.
Note: Cupping Scores for Sweetness, Acidity & Balance are actually 6.5, and Flavour is 7.5, not as above (software limitation, allows whole numbers only)
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