This lot is from Roger and Alex’s stock of the Typica varietal is processed using a white honey method. The floral and delicate character of the Typica varietal shines through, backed up by the sweet and juicy feel we so enjoy in coffees from this part of the world.
Jasmine, Cherry Blossom and Orange
The property where the Santa Teresa mill lies has been owned by the Hidalgo family for over 100 years, and is now owned by third generation coffee farmer, Roger Ureña Hidalgo. The mill lies near the town of Santa María de Dota in the mountainous Tarrazu region; some of the farm lands surrounding the mill reach up to 2000 masl. Until fairly recently there was no road up to the farmlands, so most of the farm work and transport was accomplished using horses, and Roger grew mainly beans and grass. In 1998, Roger started to grow coffee, planting 5000 trees over a 1 hectare plot at some of the highest altitudes on the farm, known as La Montaña. However, all of the soil, seeds and eventually processed coffee still had to be transported across rough terrain by horse, so the volume of production was always going to be limited. In 2001, Roger was able to hire a tractor and finally build a road to his farm. Since then, he has doubled down his efforts to grow high quality coffee, expanding his planting area with various varietals, grown depending on quality and their suitability for the specific area of the farm they are grown in. Nowadays, the work on the farm and in the mill is done mainly by Roger and his son Alex. Alex visited Denmark in June last year with members of the Exclusive coffee team, seeing both our roastery in Copenhagen and the coffee bar in Aarhus, a welcome return visit after our numerous trips to Santa Teresa over the years. Alex told us he was also looking for some inspiration during their short tour of Europe, as he plans to open a coffee bar in the nearby town of Guayabal along with his father before the end of this year.
|Producer||Roger and Alex Ureña|
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.
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.Read more