This Costa Rica decaf shows balance, and is on the milder end of the spectrum. This is a net positive, as what's in the cup is equal parts dark sugar and cocoa flavors. Very gentle allusions to apple and pear come out at City+, but the focus is on balance of sweet/bittersweet flavor aspects. A nice, clean decaf. City+ to Full City.
This decaf started out as a "regular" coffee, brought in to us from the Don Mayo micro-mill, a mill, processing plant, and group of farms all owned and operated by the Bonilla family in Tarrazu. The growing altitude at the farm is about 1650 meters, and El Beneficio is planted in Caturra. The Bonilla family handle the coffee processing at Don Mayo, and coffee is washed with an ecological water conserving Penagos machine, and then the wet parchment is dried on raised African beds. It started out as a clean cup, which we attested to when this coffee landed back in May. And as a decaf, it's an impressive coffee, and testament to the job well done by the folks at Swiss Water. We've been sending them coffees for a few years now, and are continually impressed with how much of the original profile is retained after processing. Water process decaf means no chemicals are used, only water to swell the beans, separate caffeine, leaving much of the volatile compounds that affect aroma and taste intact. Decaf drinkers should enjoy fresh, hight quality coffee too!
The dry fragrance has a nice burned sugar smell to it, with a note of dried apple. There's a savory quality too, like the sweet side of leather. Hot water brings up a bit of honey in the steam, with a note of raisin too. There's a slight decaf note on the break - like barley, or rye - but with a pleasant brown sugar/vanilla combo. The cup is fairly straight forward, and a nice option for the "daily drinker" who's looking for balance rather than the outlier characteristics. There's a nice balance of dark sugar and Dutch cocoa notes, with slight apple and pear notes as well. Roast develops a higher level of cacao flavor up front and in the finish. This coffee remains sweet at Full City, but I don't think I'd go much darker, as it becomes ashy and compromises sweetness.