Profiles in Coffee Tasting IV
Country Spotlight: Costa Rica
Costa Rica literally means "rich coast." Sandwiched between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Costa Rica has lush greenery and beautiful mountains. It is a country known for its coffee plantations and banana plantations.
The coffee we have at O'Henry's is Costa Rican Tarrazu which simply means it is from the country of Costa Rica and from the growing region of Tarrazu. The Tarrazu region is located in the interior mountains of the country and produces a somewhat heavy coffee with a more complex aroma. Other famous growing regions include Tres Rios and Heredia.
Most Costa Rican coffees are dried using the Wet Method. Here is how the wet-process works:
1. The fruit covering the coffee bean is removed.
2. The coffee cherries are then sorted and immersed in water. The unripe and bad coffee cherries will
float to the surface while the good ones sink.
3. The outer skin and some of the pulp is removed by a machine that presses the cherry against a screen
in the water.
4. Finally the rest of the pulp is removed. This can occur in a few ways. One is by fermen
ting the beans
with microbes (typically in their own pulp) and then washing them with large amounts of water. Another
way is by using a machine that mechanically scrubs the beans and washes them in water.
We purchase our beans from the Don Roberto Cooperative because we feel their quality is consistent and consistently high. It is wonderfully bright and crisp with smooth body, excellent aroma and a hint of light chocolate and citrus in the finish. We also roast a darker version of this coffee; Costa Rican Dark. It is the same bean from the same cooperative but it is roasted to a deep, dark caramel. It is richly aromatic in the cup with mild berry and citrus flavors and a touch of smoke and dark chocolate in the finish.
About the Country:
Population - 4 million
Capital - San Jose
Language - Spanish
Growing Altitude - 3,300-3,900 feet
Fun Fact - Costa Rica has one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America with a 97%.
A few years ago our Production Manager Mike McElwain had the opportunity to visit Costa Rican. Read about his trip here