This 45 bag lot was produced at a family run micro-mill, "Don Oscar", in the Tarrazu valley. This area is part of the Talamanca Sierra highlands, with peaks reaching as high as 3000 meters, and this particular part of the farm is one of the highest, starting at 1800 meters above sea level. It's an ideal micro-region and climate for growing coffee with rich volcanic soil, great altitude, and is shaded from the hot afternoon suns by mountain peaks. The brothers who run Don Oscar, and the surrounding farms, (which they are only processing coffee from at this time), are cousins of Roger Solis, who's micromill La Casona we've also bought coffee from. Their farm, which is broken into 40 lots, is a mix of Red Catuai and Caturra. They produce mechanically washed coffee (like most in the region) so no fermentation is actually used to remove the mucilage layer. Instead, it is mechanically removed with use of only a little water, and then the seed with parchment intact and a very thin layer of mucilage are laid to dry both outside in the sun on raised beds, or a mechanical dryer is used when the patios are full. It seems the level of mucilage left intact is much lower than the other lot we purchased from Don Oscar, "Los Anonos". As such, you can expect a slightly lower volume of chaff when roasting. It's very interesting to cup these two side by side, two very different coffees from plots that neighbor each other, made up of much of the same cultivars, and processed at the same mill. The fruited quality of Los Anonos juxtaposed by the sweet-to-roasted nut matrix of 1800 says alot about the role honey processing can affect a coffee's cup profile.
This lot shows a clean sweetness and roasted nut mixture, like honey-glazed almond. The fragrance at CIty to City+ highlights these aspects, and adding hot water builds on the honey-like aspect, like honey-coated cereals, or a similarity to phyllo pastry drizzled with honey. Our Full CIty roast also produced faint dried fruit and cocoa accents, and a hint of rosewood amidst a bittersweet backdrop on the break. When hot, this cup shows a nice acidic vibrance in the cup. City roasts ignite a burst of lemon water, not "Kenya" bright, but pronounced for a Central American coffee, and definitely citric. The base coffee flavors are built around raw sugars, almond and pecan, and a touch of toasted grain. These lightest roasts have a green tea-like quality, which accentuates the roast barley notes that are sensed, and adds to the mouth-cleansing affect. Full City roasts bring about a slightly juicier side, like lemonade, followed by a baker's cocoa powder flavor, candied citrus rind, and black walnut in the finish. A fairly straight-forward cup, but the elements that are present are refined to a point of easy detection and definition.