This is from the famous La Pastora estate in the Tarrazu region. and is a microlot of their black honey process (pulp natural). Estates are starting to differentiate their different honey lots with a color, and while there isn't yet a universal definition of the different colors, the basic idea is that it demonstrates how often they turn the beans while they are sun-drying and how long they are allowed to sun dry. The shortest process is the White, and then Yellow, and then Red, and then Black. The longer you go, the more fruity flavors you get. A red and a black are getting pretty close to being a natural, but will have creamier mouthfeel and less fruit than natural processed coffees.
They "honey processed" this lot of coffee by hand which means the "honey" (the fruit pulp) was left on the coffeebean in order to give it an extra dimension of flavor and sweetness. It is only in the last few years that it has been possible to get a honey processed coffee out of Costa Rica, which usually only exports washed process beans. However, La Pastora experiments with a lot of different processes, and every year they have small lots of great coffees.
A few degrees difference does give you very different results and it's a pretty easy coffee to mess up. It is a delicate bean that is susceptible to scorching, so if you have a drum roaster, don't preheat it above 350 degrees, and go lower than that if you can. Then nudge the heat up gently, evenly, give it plenty of time to get through the 1st cracks, maybe wait 20 seconds more, let it out. We give it a burst of heat and less airflow for the last 30 seconds of the roast, and keep the roast to 15 minutes or less. It tastes fruitier and has a very nice tartness (lime? green apple?) paired with creamy milk chocolate, making it both easy to drink but also interesting.
USA Arrival: July 2020
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