Costa Rica / Honey
Moreish, laden with a silky sweetness and flavours of dried red berry fruit, nougat and chocolate this is a dangerously drinkable coffee.
Producer: Jhonnathan Camacho
Region: San Juanillo, Alajuela Province, Valle Occidental, Costa Rica
Farm: Llano Bonito, Genesis Micromill
Arabica Cultivar: Milenio
Process: Yellow Honey Process
Altitude: 1500m - 1900m asl
Costa Rica’s West Valley is synonymous with honey processing in coffee, and arguably the place where the method first found widespread global recognition. Developed in response to forward thinking countrywide rules designed to minimise water use at wet mills water, the process is based around keeping as much of the coffee fruit mucilage on the seed as possible. Lacking the altitude of the Tarrazú region, the West Valley micro-mills wholly embraced honey processing as a way to innovate, build flavour and experiment with new techniques in coffee farming.
This coffee from a small farm called Llano Bonito is a great example of how delicious yellow honey coffee can be. With this variation of honey processing the post-harvest fermentation is very light touch. This retains sugars, focusing on caramel forward flavours rather than the more fermentation forward flavours found with red and black honey coffees. Owner Jhonnathan Camacho splits his time between farming and working as a doctor. He also enlists the expertise of the well-known Genesis micro-mill, trailblazers in honey processing since the early 2000s, to process his coffee.
An innovative aspect of Jhonnathan's micro-lot is the choice of coffee cultivar, Milenio. Continues the forward-looking West Valley approach, Milenio was developed in Nicaragua and is an F1 hybrid of a Sarchimor (an Arabica/Robusta hybrid), and Sudan Rume (a highly valued variety from South Sudan) that is both flavourful and farmer friendly in its disease resistance. These F1 hybrids represent an exciting evolution of coffee growing in Central America, merging high aromatic flavour notes with approachable caramel-like characteristics.
Llano Bonito delivers this is abundance when roasted on a light to medium level. A full and rounded caramel and cinder toffee note acts as a moreish base for a range of other flavours. Mandarin citrus, persimmon, and dried apricot harmonise effortlessly with the caramel undertones before a delicate florality builds on the finish. The acidity is crisp, enhancing the orange notes, while the mouthfeel is lusciously syrupy.