This particular coffee is one of numerous microlots produced by Café Rivense at their estate in Chirripo, in southeastern Costa Rica. It’s catuai that was grown at 16oo meters, picked and partially dried on raised beds, and then finished in a “guardiola,” a mechanical dryer (sort of like a really big version of the perforated drum inside a clothes dryer) that burns coffee parchment for its heat source. Natural-processed coffees are always a bit risky in central American climates that tend toward humidity. Dry a coffee too quickly, and it will be unstable, potentially taking on woody characteristics and aging rapidly once it arrives in the states. On the flip side, if a coffee gets bogged down in the drying process due to moisture in the air, whether it be rain or humidity, it can get moldy in a hurry. Enter guardiolas, for predictable dry times in any weather.
This coffee is a killer example of a central American natural done well: plenty of interesting fruit and sugar browning sweetness, balanced acidity, and minimal “nut butter” that we find can often make naturals from central America come off as a little ponderous and clunky. It’s on the bombastic side, to be sure, but it’s in balance. And…pssst…come closer…it has been named a Good Food Awards Finalist this year! for those keeping track, we have two (both of our submissions moved to the finals) of the six coffees chosen in the Northeast. Pretty sweet!
Elevation: 1600 MASL
Process: natural process, patio and mechanically dried