||Costa Rica Puente Tarrazú Finca El Potrero Black Honey Bourbon 2019
This coffee comes from the Tarrazú region of Costa Rica, which is a really rather famous region because of its coffee growing. The mill is called Puente Tarrazú, and it's located in Santa Cruz de León Cortés. It produces around 800 bags per year, so it's a fairly small-scale operation in the grand scheme of coffee things.
Finca El Potrero is around 22 hectares in size, with 20 of those involved in coffee production. They're all sitting at an altitude of 1,600 metres above sea level.
We had five different coffees in the past, so I had high hopes that my dreams would come true for a fourth year running – and oh yeah, they did.
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 to the originals. For 2019 we have yellow, red, and black honeyed Bourbons, a natural Bourbon, and a white honey Geisha!!
So what's all this about honeying, I hear you ask? Well, when you've got an amazing and delicious range of coffees like I do (*smugface*), it's 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 ...
If you're a fan of words, or you're at work and don't want the boss to know you're reading about coffee processing ...
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). Additionally there is a problematic lack of water in Costa Rica. The pulped natural and honey process is a perfect solution. There is a kind of de-pulper 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. By the time you're at black honey you're really not all that far from a natural process, so you get to enjoy some similar flavours but with a honey processing edge to make it take a slight turn off the natural course.
In the cup the flavours really match that Black Honey name. It's got a gloopy texture with a mashup of plums, dates, and prunes filling your mouth. Those dark fruits give way to a delicate edge of dark caramel on the aftertaste.
• Country: Costa Rica
• Region: Tarrazú
• Micro region: Santa Cruz de León Cortés
• Mill: Puente Tarrazú
• Farm: Finca El Potrero
• Producer: Rodolfo Rivera
• Farm size: 22 hectares
• Coffee growing area: 20 hectares
• Altitude: 1,600 m.a.s.l.
• Varietal: Bourbon
• Processing system: Black Honey
CUPPING NOTES: Plum, date, prune, dark caramel.
• Clean cup: (1–8): 6
• Sweetness: (1–8): 6.5
• Acidity: (1–8): 6
• Mouthfeel: (1–8): 7
• Flavour: (1–8): 7
• Aftertaste: (1–8): 7
• Balance: (1–8): 6.5
• Overall: (1–8): 7
• Correction: (+36): +36
• Total: (max. 100): 89
Medium – through first and allow time for the sweetness to develop before dropping the roast just before you reach second crack.
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