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Santa Rosa 1900

Soft stone fruit notes and a buttery body are reminiscent of almond shortbread with apricot jam.

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Santa Rosa 1900

This is the fourth time we have bought coffee from the Santa Rosa 1900 micro-mill, named for its location at 1900 masl in the mountainous Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. The mill is located only around 10 km from Altos del Abejonal, where we have worked with Mauricio Vindas for over 5 years. The mill processes coffee from several small farms owned by Naranjo family, mainly tended to by Efrain ‘Macho’ and his son Herberth. This lot of Red Catuai is processed using a slightly strange method when compared to most of Costa Rica. You may recognise the idea from some of the Guatemalan lots we have shared over the past few years. In Guatemala often small producers don’t have the resources to pick and process coffee on the same day, so coffee begins to ferment in cherry overnight. At Santa Rosa, they use this fermentation method by choice, and call it ‘represado’, which literally translates as ‘dammed’, like damming a river. After the pre-fermentation, where the cherries lie in plastic bags overnight, the coffee is depulped and dried as a honey with mucilage still attached. This adds a little more ferment character to the cup when compared to a standard honey, greater sweetness, and a soft and complex fruit character some of you may recognise from coffees like Ana Ramirez. Alongside this focus on processing, Macho is always keen to point out on our visits that coffee quality starts on the tree, so he places great focus on soil health and maintaining a population of bees to pollinate his plants. You can see our first visit to Macho at the Santa Rosa mill in 2015 in our ‘Brightness’ film

Costa Rica

We buy coffees from a long spine of Costa Rica, running through the country’s capital San Jose. This spine is famous for high quality coffee production the world over, resulting in high prices for farmers. One of the reasons for this is plentiful high altitude, the Talamanca Sierra runs through the region, with peaks of above 3000 masl. This spine is split into 3 regions, the West Valley and Central Valley to the north of San Jose, and Tarrazu to the south. In all of these areas, but especially in Tarrazu, agriculture and coffee growing is a main employer, vital to the economy. In fact, the population of Tarrazu is multiplied by three during harvest season, when workers flock to the region for the high wages paid to skilled pickers. The entire spine is mainly of volcanic origin, helping to provide fertile soils conducive to the production of consistently high scoring coffees, which we keep going back for. 2018 marks the fourth year we have visited our Costa Rican export partners at Exclusive Coffees, and the producers they have connected us with just keep on delivering excellent and transparent coffee experiences. Read more about coffee in Costa Rica, our relationships there, and the micro-mills that create such diversity here:


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 Naranjo Family
Farm Santa Rosa
Region Tarrazu
Altitude 1900 masl
Varietal Catuai
Process Represado + 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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