Finca Jose is tucked in a unique rocky outcropping in the area of the ChirripÜ National Park, a zone called La Piedra de Rivas (That's Don Jose in the first photo). Unlike the coffee regions most are familiar with - Tarrazu, Central Valley, or the Western Valley regions - this part of La Piedra de Rivas is on a road less traveled, a dead-end road actually, the end intersecting the few micromills serving farmers in the region. Finca Jose is a 16 hectare farm (tops out at 1950 meters) run by a man of the same name, who acquired this land from his grandfather some time ago. This past year Jose and his brother Jonny have invested in building out their own micromill on property adjacent to Jose's home, allowing them to have a more direct hand in the sale of their coffee as parchment, rather then sell whole cherry to one of the neighboring mills. They have 23 hectares between them, and the ability to run a mill of this size at capacity. This is now their second year of operation, and they've managed to make many improvements to the original mill (including new dry milling equipment and raised beds), as well as build a new micro-mill at Johnny's home down the road "Corazon de Jesus".
Coffees from Chirripo are often some of the more complex Costa Rica coffees we taste, and Finca Jose is no exception. The dry fragrance shows spiced sweetness, an attractive mix of demurara sugar (partially unrefined sugar) and all spice, a faint almond smell too. Adding hot water brings up a buttery caramel scent that reminds me of pecan pie, as well as allusions to cooked fruit and sugars, and an intense sweetness is released off the break. City roasts present a mouth-cleansing brightness that's like bracing black tea. Fruited tones are also very tea-like, apple tea with cinnamon stick, an understated dried strawberry note as well. As the cup cools significantly, a walnut note emerges in the finish that adds a slight nut-like tightness too, but with the tea flavors plays off like over-extracted black tea. Full City roasts have an interesting carob flavor up front that veers toward dark cocoa, and a wild berry top note that makes for a delicious fruited-cocoa finish.