Costa Rica Don Joel Finca La Cumbre de San Luis Yellow Honey Villa Sarchi 2021


Bean name Costa Rica Don Joel Finca La Cumbre de San Luis Yellow Honey Villa Sarchi 2021
Country #SSSSS Limited Editions 2021


For a second month in a row, we’re back in the Western Valley in Costa Rica. Hopefully you found last month’s San Roque Kenya lot to be as delicious as we did (sorry again that it was a bit late!) - this one should be a great comparison!

Allan Oviedo Rodriguez and his family only live a short distance from Carlos Arrieta Soto and his family, but Costa Rica is somewhere where even a small distance can create big changes. The biggest example of that you’ll see is the difference between this lot - a Villa Sarchi lot from Allan’s La Cumbre farm and the Villa Sarchi lot from his other farm, Carmela. We’ll be adding that one to the website in the near future - keep your eyes peeled, and whilst there are some big similarities there are also some substantial differences between the two. It’s amazing that these two small plots of land, grown on opposite slopes of a hill but planted and managed by the same people, with the same plant stock, can produce quite different coffees.

Allan’s micromill is named after his father, Don Joel. It’s based on the La Cumbre farm, which was part of his father’s land (which got handed down and split between Allan and his brothers). Micromill always sounds like a grand term, but what it looks like is a small area of maybe fifteen meters by five meters, mostly covered by a big greenhouse-like construction. At one end is the depulper, a machine which scrubs away the outer layers of the coffee cherry. For a Yellow Honey (like this coffee), about 30% of the mucilage (or fruit) of the cherry will be left behind after it’s gone through the depulper. From there, Allan moves it into the greenhouse style setup and either on to a concrete patio or raised beds. The raised beds are made from mesh, allowing more air circulation than when the coffee dries on the patio. There can be small benefits to both these methods, and Allan uses a combination of both to get the best results. The raised beds can also be stacked on top of each other, allowing efficient use of space, and whilst the area is small Allan manages to dry both his own coffees as well as some for a few of his neighbours.

Adjacent to this area is his small warehouse, where dried coffee is stacked up prior to going to the exporter’s dry mill in San Jose. It’s at the dry mill that the dried parchment which surrounds the beans will be removed and the final sorting by density and by eye is done.

Whereas last month’s San Roque Kenia is a relatively new Costa Rican favourite varietal, Villa Sarchi is one of it’s most renowned and locally favoured. Very rarely encountered outside Costa Rica, it’s a dwarf Bourbon mutation named after the Sarchi area of the Western Valley in Costa Rica where it was discovered. Like many other varietals which have stayed local to where they were discovered, Villa Sarchi retains a lot of the benefits of it’s Bourbon parentage (especially taste), but the plant's low height and response to diseases has made it a more convenient and popular choice among Costa Rican producers. It’s also been distributed by the country’s national coffee institute - ICAFE - which has helped cement the good reputation.

All of this comes together when you taste it, for a coffee which shows exactly what a great “Classic Costa Rican” flavour profile is all about. It's a super clean and elegant coffee, which allows the characteristically intense fruit sweetness of Costa Rica to shine. There’s plenty of citrus flavours in the cup, particularly orange and sweet lemon, before it shifts in to apricot as it cools.

Country: Costa Rica
Region: Western Valley
Province: Alajuela
Nearest town: San Luis de Grecia
Farm: La Cumbre de San Luis
Micromill: Don Joel
Farmer: Allan Oviedo Rodriguez and family
Altitude: 1,600 m.a.s.l.
Processing system: Yellow Honey
Varietal: Villa Sarchi

Cupping notes

Clean cup None/8
Sweetness None/8
Acidity None/8
Mouthfeel None/8
Flavour None/8
Aftertaste None/8
Balance None/8
Overall None/8
Correction +None
Total None

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