Costa Rica Puente Tarrazú Gesha
It has been a few years since we featured a Gesha variety coffee from Costa Rica. We evaluated this lot on the cupping table while visiting our friends at Exclusive Coffees in San José, Costa Rica earlier this year. Exclusive’s founder, Francisco Mena, is a champion of the micro-mill revolution that has taken place in Costa Rica over the past decade. He works with over one hundred micro-mills scattered throughout Costa Rica’s major growing regions, offering training to producers and a platform for their coffees to be shared with coffee roasters throughout the world.
Shortly after tasting the coffee, we drove a couple hours to Santa Cruz de León Cortés to meet with its producer, Rodolfo Rivera. Rodolfo and his family own Finca San Martín, a small farm in the esteemed Tarrazú growing region. They collaborate with families in the community to operate the Puente Tarrazú micro-mill, where coffee from neighboring farms are processed. When we visited the micro-mill, coincidentally there was more yellow-honey processed Gesha, similar to the one we had just tasted, drying on covered raised beds, which had trapped in an amazingly sweet aroma. Although no actual honey is used in the process, the coffee looks as if it had been dipped in honey from the sticky fruit mucilage that clings to the beans as the coffee dries. The honey-process imparts an intense berry-like sweetness into this coffee that complements its classic spicy and floral Gesha flavors perfectly.