Cherry, coconut and cinnamon
Whhoaa - well this is our first Costa Rican coffee of 2021 and what a way to start. The importer DR Wakefield scored this a massive 92.25 according to the SCA scoring system. That's MASSIVE. Opening the green coffee sack for the first time I could understand why. What an aroma.
Coope Tarrazu are a co-op of around 5,000 members that were formed in 1960 (with just 228 associates) to represent growers of the Tarrazu region. 80 percent of members own less than 4 hectares, so having agronomists for the group available to offer expertise is just one of the benefits membership can bring.
In 2011 they formed their Research and Development department to look at practical alternatives with by-products, sustainable agriculture, efficiency and energy. They have an app based solution for farmer members, and agreements with a number of universities and institutes to develop inputs for the future of sustainable agriculture.
La Pastora is the brand name of their Tarrazu showcase profile of coffees, with high acidity, medium body and great aromas. In 2013 they bought a farm from Sr. Tobias Umaña, a pioneer of the early Tarrazu coffee industry called La Hacienda. They use this as a demonstration farm and where they can trial new or special lots and processes, as well as provide training for their co-operative members. Renamed to Hacienda Cafetalera farming practises here are exemplary, and they have their own wet mill on site rather than using the main co-op facilities.
This lot is one of those that has benefitted from the care, attention and detail that goes in to producing a great coffee. Flowering in April and May and harvesting between December and March, cherries are picked ripe and stored in a giant black fermentation tank for around 4 days in the skin. Once fermentation is complete, the cherries are taken to raised beds and dried under sunlight.
Immediately upon testing the first roast batch I was hit with cherry and coconut and a spicy cinnamon finish. Reminded me of a chocolate bar I'd had in Australia - Cherry Ripe.