West Valley region is, as the name suggests, on the far West of the coffee growing area in Costa Rica, and is doesn't traditionally have the best coffee in the country. The mills have a reputation for too many defects, and the growing conditions don't quite meet up to what Tarrazu and Naranjo hold. The Costa Rica season is still just getting underway, but of the early arrivals, this one really stood out to us. It was cleaner than expected, and has a strong floral taste, largely rose. But it also has a creamy almost caramel mouthfeel that turns into an orange acidity and leaves you with a great aftertaste and a sparkle on your tongue. It's really nice coffee, grown at altitudes as high as 4,000 feet, and is a great price for such quality. The co-op that grows this coffee owns their own mill, earns a fair income under a Farm Gate pricing agreement, and practices sustainable and organic farming, but they do not use certifications.
Most commercial / semi-commercial roasters I’m acquainted with sell Costa Rica on the darker side of roasts, with at least a spotty oil on the beans. I feel that Costa Rica rarely makes a good choice for dark roast, as the body becomes too thin as you go into the 2nd cracks. Try to land half way between the end of the 1st cracks and the beginning of the 2nds. For us, that is a bean temperature of 409 degrees, but your thermometer may be calibrated a degree or two different. At this level it showcases a nice balance of brightness, sweetness, and complexity.
US arrival May 2019
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