||Costa Rica Sumava La Ladera Anaerobic H3 2020
This coffee comes from a specific plot of a farm that's actually two farms, but overall the two farms exist as one farm - but it has a road running through the middle of it and in Costa Rica that means it's 2 farms. They do produce coffee independently, though. And so this is a coffee from a small part of a farm of a bigger farm - exciting, huh?
Overall the farm is called Finca Sumava de Lourdes, and is located in Lourdes de Naranjo in the western valley of Costa Rica between 1,670 and 1,790 metres above sea level.
The overall farm (Sumava) is made up of two farms called Finca Monte Llano Bonito, which has nine plots of land, and Finca Monte Lourdes, which has six plots of land. This coffee comes from the La Ladera plot which you will find on Finca Monte Lourdes - if you look on the map below you'll see towards the bottom right-hand corner there's a group of smaller plots, those are the areas where Francisco grows his slightly more exciting varietals like this H3.
H3 is a Non-Introgressed F1 Hybrid of Caturra and Ethiopian Landrace. What does that mean though?!!
It means that the parents of H3 are a Caturra plant and an Ethiopian plant. Non-Introgressed just means that both parents of H3 are from the same species - C. Arabica. Finally, F1 means it's a first-generation cross. This is important in practical terms because if you want more bourbon varietals, you can just take the seeds from two bourbon plants - but you can't do this for H3. The seeds from an H3 plant won't be the same as their parent and some of the advantages the parent had will be lost. this means that the only way to get new seedlings of F1 varieties like H3 is my propagating them from cuttings or samples of the original plant. This is something which has been done with Bananas and Cassavas for many years, but it's only more recently that coffee breeders have been able to work out the techniques for doing this with a coffee plant.
Costa Rica is a really interesting place for coffee processing, with lots of farms either having their own micromill or sharing one with their neighbours. It was in Costa Rica that the different honey styles were developed, which we’re increasingly seeing being tried in other countries now. A few years ago, we saw some early experiments with a new style of processing, being called anaerobic. One of the big factors in this catching on was an early success at the Cup of Excellence competition - an anaerobic style lot from Finca Diamante came 4th in the 2015 competition for example.
As with other processing (like washed and honey), everyone does anaerobic a bit differently. Broadly, the idea is to start in the same way as a Honey, putting the cherries through a depulped to remove the skin and some of the fruit. The beans and whatever fruit is left are then put into a container along with a little water and the container is sealed. There’s a lot of variation and debate about what goes on during this, but generally, the idea is to reduce the amount of air the fermentation process has access to.
H3 is a really unusual varietal and it being grown at Sumava is a sign of the exciting work Francisco is doing. He has a great amount of experience in the coffee-growing world and wants to grow interesting and different varietals to experiment and see how they do in the land, and hey - we love what he's doing as it means we get to enjoy rare and unique coffees just like this!
This is a super clean coffee, with plenty of crisp black tea and floral flavours, backed up by a hint of bergamot. On the finish is a hint of sweet spice, but this is all elegant and delicately balanced.
Country: Costa Rica
Region: Western Valley
Location: Lourdes de Naranjo
Farm: Finca Sumava de Lourdes
Sub farms: Finca Monte Llano Bonito and Finca Monte Lourdes
Plot: La Ladera
Producer: Francisco Mena
Altitude: 1,670–1,790 m.a.s.l.
Processing method: Anaerobic
Black tea, floral, bergamot, sweet spice
Clean cup: (1–8): 8
Sweetness: (1–8): 6
Acidity: (1–8): 6.5
Flavour: (1–8): 7
Aftertaste: (1–8): 6
Balance: (1–8): 6.5
Overall: (1–8): 8
Total (max. 100): 90
Medium - through first and keep it in the gap, slowing it a little to make sure you get the development needed but dropping mid-way through the gap.
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