Another lot from the Don Oscar micro-mill in Talamanca Sierra highlands, Tarrazu. The altitude is incredibly high in this region, crossing over a 3000 meter peak on the drive in. The farms surrounding Don Oscar reach as high as 2000 meters, and this particular "1800" lot makes reference to the part of the farm where this coffee was picked - right at 1800 meters. 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.
The fragrance at CIty to City+ highlights these raw sugar and roasted nut tones, more of the former, and coming off with a malty sweetness (especially in City roasts). The wet aromatics push a honey-like aspect, like honey-sweetened black tea. Full City roasts show a hint of rosewood amidst a bittersweet backdrop. When hot, the cup shows a nice acidic vibrance in City roasts, 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 honey sweet accents. These lightest roasts have a green tea-like quality, and adds to the mouth-cleansing affect. Full City roasts bring about baker's cocoa powder flavor, cut through by a note of candied citrus rind, and black walnut in the long finish. A lovely Costa Rican cup, somewhat simple cup flavors, but refined to a point of easy detection and definition.