Rarity 02: Costa Rica ARBAR Yellow Honey Geisha


Bean name Rarity 02: Costa Rica ARBAR Yellow Honey Geisha
Country Rarities
Region Lourdes de Naranjo, Western Valley
Other info Pineapple cubes, rosewater, Oolong tea, white sugar


The ARBAR micromill is owned by the Arrieta Barboza family. That includes Carlos and Maria, and their children Yessica, Karen, Esteban and Jose Ignacio. Their house is right next to their micromill, which is laid out immaculately. Some of their more unusual varietals grow around the edges of the house and on a gentle rise that leads to a magnificent view of the Western Valley. We’ve been enjoying the fruits of their labour for five years now, but this is only their second production year of the much-coveted Geisha plants.

They operate mostly Organic processes, but they're not Organic certified. They believe in the value of biodiversity on the farms, and plants like fruit trees are positioned among the coffee plants to provide shade and to help the soil. These trees also provide food for the family. They even have a few sheep and other animals, with the farm being as self-sufficient as possible. They have one full-time employee, who lives on the farm.

When Carlos and his family started selling to us, it gave them a chance to
try new things; the prices that we pay gave them the opportunity to take bigger risks. One of the ways they did this was by trying small plantings of new varietals including Bourbon, Kenya (SL28), and this one – Geisha.

The coffee plants' low yielding, thin, and spindly branches mean they are vulnerable to the strong winds that are common at higher altitudes. To help protect the plants, they’re surrounded by tall trees and kept in the lee of the hill, where they can grow freely. Furthermore, it's about as pest-friendly as a coffee tree comes (although resistant to leaf rust!), so you just don't get much production. But what you do get is pure WOW.

This is the second production crop from the farm. Did you try this coffee last year? I hope so! As delicious as that was, this year’s keeps a lot of the same character but is more amped up.

Upfront there’s the floral hit of rosewater, but it’s balanced by a big sweetness that reminds me of pineapple cube sweets. There’s a tea-like quality too; however, rather than the typical black tea flavour, this is more like a light oolong. On the finish, the sweetness shifts into white sugar whilst gaining a slightly resinous edge, which is super unusual but works very well here.

Country: Costa Rica
Region: Western Valley
City: Lourdes de Naranjo
Producer: Carlos Arrieta
Micromill: ARBAR
Altitude: 1,600 m.a.s.l.
Varietal: Geisha
Process: Yellow Honey

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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