So for the next 12 working days (taking us up to the 22nd the last royal mail posting day) we have the Has Bean 12 days of Christmas for you, This is going backwards 12 days, not the traditional 12 days (any excuse really).
This will involve a new coffee each day, to help you find inspiration for the perfect coffee for Christmas day. Some old favourites, some very new and exciting coffee that will become firm favourites I am sure.
We kick day 2 (reverse, posting / working) day of Christmas my true love roaster gave to me….
Costa Rica Monte Brisas Finca Salaca Typica Black Honey
So we need to start by explaining this long and complicated name. The mill where this is processed is called Monte Brisas, and the name of the farm is Finca Slaca. The varietal of the coffee plant is Typica and the processing is called black honey (more on this later).
This is a brand new coffee for us from the west valley in the region of Zarcero, both farm and mill very near to our friends Gillio and the famous mill of Zarcero. The farm (Salaca) islocated at 1750 masl and owned by Luis Salazar. It is a total of 12 hectares of which 11 are for coffee production.
Although the family have been farming for years, its a brand new micromill in only its third year of production. I visited last year, but they had the tinniest amount of coffee, and had already pre sold it to another buyer. But Luis promised me he would have something for me this year, and when I visited the sample was waiting. This is a lot of pressure when you
So whats black honey processing ? When the coffee cherry is picked you either leave the cherry on (natural processing) or remove it fairly shortly after picking. When you remove the seed from the fruit (the coffee bean as we know it) there is a sticky mucilage that for the washed process, is removed using fermentation. This requires an amount of water and can pollute local rivers and streams. Add to this the problem of lack of water in Costa Rica, the pulped natural and honey process is a perfect solution. There is a kind of de-plulper that can remove this mucilage and can be set to to different degrees. It started off as three typesSo there is white honey (removes the most) gold honey, yellow honey, red honey and black honey.
The drying of the parchment with all the mucilage still attached has a direct impact on the sweetness of the cup. Black honey is the most complex, rich in body, flavorful, laborious, and expensive and in danger of over fermenting .But generally it has a very unique cup profile, characterised by it’s sweetness, enhanced fruit notes and sweet acidity on the taste.
In the cup expect sweet treacle toffee, with black plum acidity, thats very very clean. The aftertaste is black grapes thats been sweetened many many times.
Farm: Finca Salaca
Country: Costa Rica
Farm Size: 12 Hectares
Coffee growing area: 11 Hectares
Altitude: 1750 masl
Variety: Villa Sarchí, Caturra, Typica
Processing System: Black Honey Coffee (Pulped Natural)