A rindy citrus bright note gives a refreshing quality which intensifies as it cools. Caramel-molasses sweetness lingers in the finish, with cocoa powder hint. The brightness starts out as Meyer lemon in tone, and becomes a sweeter, softer citrus later, more mandarin-like. City+ to Full City+.
This is the Swiss Water Decaf version of the same coffee we carry from Herbazu. Cafetalera Herbazu is a well-known farm in the West Valley region, the Lourdes de Naranjo area to be exact. It is one of the early pioneers in independent, small mill coffee farms, the work of the Barrantes family. They grow a type of Villa Sarchi cultivar that they have used for so long, it has become their own mutation in a way. It's quite a short plant (Villa Sarchi is a dwarf mutation of Bourbon. The mill and drying patios are right in the center of the farm, which ranges from 1550 to 1700 meters. I have been there a couple times and have always been impressed with how efficient and neat the mill looks, as well as the trees, which are kept well-pruned and short. We thought this would make a really nice decaf, that the brighter notes and sweetness would come through after decaffeination, and I think it was a great success.
While this coffee is aromatically different than it's non-decaf counterpart, the real Herbazu flavor comes through in the cup. The dry fragrance has an odd sweetness, typical for decafs in general, cocoa-like, but more like Ovaltine. There's a malty sweetness in the wet aroma, a slight cherry note as well, but it's a little medicinal (again, typical for decafs). The cup flavor is different though. The rindy citrus bright note of Herbazu comes straight through when the cup is hot, and gives it a refreshing quality which intensifies as it cools. There is caramel-molasses sweetness in the cup that also lingers into the long aftertaste, with a dusting of cocoa powder. The brightness starts out as Meyer lemon in tone, and becomes a sweeter, softer citrus later, more mandarin-like. Again, these qualities intensify quite nicely as the cup cools, and I had an impulse to make iced coffee afterward; it was great! Something very important to note about this Herbazu decaf, and generally true for others; it scores at least 2 points lower when it is brewed too soon after roasting. It needs at least 24 hours post roast to settle down, for the body to develop, and sweetness as well. Un-rested roasts have a bready sweetness, like dark rye bread. It's not bad, just odd. And, as we state often, roasting by color is difficult. Use smell and sound to aid you while roasting, since surface color is much darker with decafs relative to the actual degree of roast. FYI: When you grind the coffee, you can see roast color much more accurately. But this only informs you after-the-fact.