Don Mayo Beneficio is one sweet cup, layers of raw cane juice, dark caramel sauce, and unrefined sugars, along with raisin, walnut, and berry top notes. Heavy chocolate tones with roast development. City+ to Full City+. Good for espresso.
This coffee is from the Bonilla family's 'Don Mayo' micro mill. This is truly one of the oldest of the micro mills, starting back in 2003, and Hector Bonilla has worked at perfecting production at the facility along with his sons. This particular lot is from La Loma, a farm in Leon Cortes de Tarrazu, also a previous "top 3" coffee at Costa Rica COE. La Loma sits between 1750 and 1875 meters, and planted almost entirely in Caturra cultivar. They use a Penagos for mechanically-washing at the station (a version of pulp-natural that closely replicates actual 'wet processing'), efficient water conserving machine, dry parchment on raised beds, and then do all the dry milling themselves. That's part of the beauty of Familia Bonilla/Don Mayo mill, is their ability to oversee the coffee processing from the time it is harvested to the milled green coffee. Like many of the micro-mills, Don Mayo processes coffee from their own farms (such as La Loma), as well as buys whole cherry from local farmers to sell as individual micro-lots.
This lot has a smell of toasted almonds with a light honey drizzle, and elements of herbal and black teas up on top. The wet aroma is quite sweet, heaps of brown sugar with a touch of vanilla, and understated dried fruit and nut tones released on the break. This is one sweet cup through and through, with a finish that is clean, exemplary of the fantastic job of Don Mayo mill's mechanical washing. Sweetness is often obfuscated by heat, but even at practically brew temp this coffee's sweetness level is apparent, layers of raw cane juice, dark caramel sauce, and unrefined sugars coming to mind. As the cup cools, City+ roasts proffer golden raisin and walnut top notes, along with shimmering acidity that's like orange oil. At Full City chocolate and sugar flavors meld perfectly, a flavor of tootsie roll comes to mind, sweetened dark chocolate notes and subtle blue berry accent resonating in the finish. This is a good starting point for those interested in single origin espresso, with distilled flavors of bittersweet chocolate and piquant citrus note come through in a shot.