Herbazu Ethiopia 47

Herbazu Ethiopia 47

Thought-provoking work from the Barrantes Zuñiga family in Tarrazu.

Just before Christmas, we released a special subscription package featuring some very rare lots of coffee. We will now release the final bags of these lots. Very limited stock of both SL28 and Ethiopia 47 varietals, from the Cup of Excellence winning micro-mill Herbazu in Costa Rica. Please note, these coffees were roasted at the end of December, but are just starting to peak now. We hope you enjoy this thought-provoking work from the Barrantes Zuñiga family in Tarrazu.

Costa Rica

Herbazu Ethiopia 47

Rare Microlot

Chocolate, Fig and Lemon

(100g / 3.53oz)

We first visited the Herbazu mill in March 2015, during the same trip where we filmed our ‘Brightness’ movie. The name Herbazu comes from the family name of the brothers who own the mill, Los Hermanos Barrantes Zuñiga. During our first trip we were very impressed by the brothers’ dedication, and incredibly high levels of quality control and sorting. However, what also intrigued us was their experimentation with alternative varietals. This is the first time we’ve bought an isolated Ethiopian varietal from one of our partners in Costa Rica. After being suitably impressed by the Kenyan varietal we purchased from Herbazu last year, we inquired further about their exotic varietals on our visit this year, and were able to cup this, their ‘Ethiopia 47’ varietal. This is one of two varietals that our export partners at Exclusive Coffees are aware of being grown in Costa Rica, the other being ‘Ethiopia 41’. The exact story of how the varietals came to Costa Rica is not known, but they have been classified by Costa Rican research institutes as isolated Ethiopian heirloom varietals and are available to farmers from seed banks. The Zuñiga brothers planted the Ethiopia 47 varietal on their Telia farm and have slowly been able to harvest more and more from their small stock of trees. They have processed this lot using a red honey process, leaving quite a large amount of mucilage on the seeds as they dry, enhancing the sweetness and body of the final cup. The varietal characteristics still shine through however, giving a fresh and herbal edge to the cup, almost eucalyptus-like. Just like Herbazu’s SL28, this is a great example of a coming together of knowledgable farming, an exotic variety, and a region with ideal coffee producing conditions.

The Zuñiga brothers

We believe these experimental lots from Herbazu are successful in showcasing their varietal character in wildly different terroir from their home country. The Zuñiga brothers and their exotic varietals are known throughout Central America, and their dedication to coffee production has led to success in various competitions, including a win in the 2015 Costa Rica Cup of Excellence.

About La Cabra

A focus on raw material

If we don’t feel that a coffee suits our style or what we like to present, we simply won’t buy it. Sometimes this leads to issues in green buying; we have to pay very close attention, to a level of green quality that will support this approach, and to how this will develop over the life of a coffee. We are required to focus heavily on the freshness of coffee, both green and roasted, to avoid introducing taints into our cups. We always use clean and fresh water, of an ideal mineral content to present the coffee in its best possible light. Once we have the correct roasting profile, water, and coffee age, the act of brewing is much more simple. A wide variance in brewing parameters can still produce delicious and transparent cups. It is also important to note that this is not always the most consistent approach. The coffee is laid completely bare, so any flaw with the raw material is clearly on show. We could often develop some coffees slightly more, to make them more approachable or easy to work with, but wavering from our philosophy like this would compromise our commitment to complete transparency in coffee.

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Producer The Zuñiga Brothers
Farm Herbazu
Region West Valley
Altitude 1900 masl
Varietal SL28
Process Honey
Harvest March 2019


With the honey process a certain amount of mucilage and pulp are allowed to remain on the coffee bean during depulping. The cover will stay with the bean during fermentation and drying thereby contributing to the sugars absorbed by the bean and affecting the flavour notes of the final cup. The amount of mucilage remaining defines the type of honey process - white, yellow, red or black in ascending order of mucilage concentration. If they are processed properly, the coffees can take on quite a lot of sweetness and flavours while remaining clean.

Raised drying beds (sometimes referred to as African drying beds) are often preferable when working with honey processed coffees, because of the additional airflow they allow. The air ensures that the beans dry evenly and reduces the incidence of fungi and bacteria formation. On the other hand, some farmers are accustomed to using sun-exposed patio drying that require a regular raking of beans to avoid moulds. While total fermentation and drying time depend on such choices as well as ambient temperature and moisture levels, red honey processing easily needs two weeks from depulping until drying has completed.

La Cabra

Brew Guides

You can brew our coffees any way you want it is just a matter of the right ratios.





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