Aserrí, San Jose Province
Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Typica, San Ramon
Don Jorge Monge Garbanzo
Located deep within the agricultural heart of the country, Las Palomas is one of many farms here which go back generations, a family legacy which is becoming increasingly rare in many parts of the globe. Resplendent but remote, the region of Aserrí has struggled financially, particularly following the devastation of Hurricane Mitch in the late 90s. Specialty coffee has offered some producers in these highland cantons, or sub-provinces, a way to gain modest financial stability, using advanced processing techniques and meticulous farm management which raise the quality and price of the coffee grown here. ASOPROAAA, a local cooperative to which Las Palomas belongs, supports over 1100 producers in the region, helping to improve livelihoods and incomes by assisting with the processing and export of farmer’s coffee.
Don Jorge Monge Garbanzo and his wife Flor, the proprietors of Las Palomas, delivered these cherries to the cooperative’s washing station on the 18th of February this year. This small lot was processed the same day, with the skin of the cherry removed but the sticky fruit left intact. The coffee was laid out to dry on raised tables with the ‘honey’ still on, a process known by the same name which imparts additional fruit flavours to the final cup. Don Jorge has been an associate of the cooperative and a leader in specialty coffee for years, sharing his passion and some friendly rivalry with his brother Carlos, who owns the farm adjacent to him.
Honey processed coffees are heavier in body and can lose some of their complexity if brewed with a higher coffee-to-water ratio. We suggest starting at a recipe of 1:16.5 and/or grinding slightly coarser, brewing using fresh filtered water which will allow the nuances of this lot to shine through.