Impressive acidity, like white grape juice. Liquid brown sugar, honey wheat bread, rice crispy treats, and caramel popcorn. As espresso, you'd be hard pressed to guess it's a decaf! Super versatile. City to Full City+.
This decaf lot comes from two different micromills in the Talamanca Sierra highlands, Tarrazu, one Don Mayo and the other Juanachute. This region is already in the clouds, so to speak, the ridge you drive over on the way in peaking at 3000 meters, and dropping down to the valley floor brings you to about 1500 meters. Both coffees are processed in the most common fashion for Costa Rica, using mechanical washing. No fermentation is used to remove the final layer of mucilage that can otherwise be tough to peel. Instead, the fruit and cherry are both removed at the same time with a mechanical demucilager and a little water. This process tends to produce a nice, clean cup profile, and perhaps somewhat muted acidity (though not always). Both coffees were classic examples of clean Costa Rican coffees in this respect, coming back post-decaf a close proximation of the non-decaf coffee. The Swiss Water decaffeination method is a delicate process, leaving much of the volatile compounds that affect flavor and aroma intact.
"Straight forward cup, clean sweetness, moderate fruit juice-like acidity" - it's tough to tell by looking at our cupping notes that the coffee being described is decaf. These are definitely the hallmarks of a nice mechanically washed Costa Rican coffee, and thankfully hold relatively strong in the decaf counterpart. Aromatically, the nose has a raw sugar and roasted corn smell, a little like caramel corn, puffed wheat, and a doughiness that reminds me this is decaf. The acidity level was the first thing I noticed when tasting the hot cup, City roasts providing something of a white grape juice-like feel. The cup gives way to an elevated level of caramely sweetness, almost like brown sugar dissolved in water, with notes of honey wheat bread, and rice crispy treats in the mix. The latter are partly due to decaffeination, but actually coalesce quite well, finding balance within the grounding sweetness and fruit juice brightness. You develop hefty dark chocolate tones at Full City, and as espresso you'd be hard pressed to guess this is decaf at all.