December's traditional subscription coffee is the El Cedral from Costa Rica. The process of purchasing this coffee was a little different for us, in that we worked directly with the export company Selva in the selection process.
They are based on the ground in Costa Rica and specialise only in locally grown coffees. They work closely with the producers, in this case Fernando Prado and the El Centro Farm. He oversees the selection of the coffee cherry, the wet processing and also the dry milling of this coffee.
Shade growing is common here. Typically, indigenous citrus fruit trees that shelter the coffee cherries from the midday sun and prolong the maturation and sugar development stage. This also helps maintain good soil health and forms a habitat for local wildlife.
This coffee is a classic Costa Rican, so expect high sweetness and a long, clean finish. Processing in Costa Rica is carefully regulated, and the protection of the local environment is paramount. Water is used sparingly and coffee is sun dried wherever possible. whilst any fruit is subtle.
whilst any fruit is subtle, the textures are jammy and caramel like think cocoa, brown sugar and roasted nuts. As with most of our traditional coffees, the El Cedral can take a splash of milk. If you're an alternative milk drinker, typically oat milk, the natural sweetness of this coffee will work well.
Drunk black this coffee is punchy, but with really good balance. As always, we hope you enjoy it and do let us know what you think.
The farm for December's Discovery Coffee, Finca La Revuelta, was once part of a larger estate that produced cactus, which was made into natural black inks for the European textile industry. Once synthetic dyes were produced, the Guatemalan estate diversified into panela, cattle and coffee.
The producer, Christian Starry, and his son inherited the farm from his great aunt, Margarita Samaira, who in the 1950s converted the Hacienda into one of the largest Guatemalan coffee farms at the time. The focus on coffee has been further developed in recent years, with the building of both dry and wet mills that are also used to process coffees from neighboring farms.
The natural process this coffee undergoes involves extra fermentation that takes place during the drying phase. The freshly picked cherries are left to dry in the sun and are turned regularly before having the dried fruit pulp and skins removed.
In the cup these coffees present florals, rich aromatics and red fruit flavour. In the case of Revuelta, you should find a floral, strawberry like aroma and a sugary sweetness akin to candy floss, which in itself has almost berry like flavour. A slow brewed filter coffee like a pour over really highlights these delicate aromas and makes for a fruit tea like drinking experience.
Espresso brewing brings out intense sweetness that blends well with small amounts of steamed milk. Try a Piccolo or Cortado, which is basically espresso with three to five ounces of milk. As always, we hope you enjoy the coffee and do let us know what you think.