GREEN

A very clean and precisely dried lot, this Catuaí coffee is quite dense. All of this points to a coffee that should have great shelf stability even as it approaches a long time after harvest. It continues to taste as fresh as it did when we first sampled it. The size grading falls just about 5% shy of qualifying as European prep.

Catuaí is a dwarf variety with copious proliferation throughout the Americas. Originating from a hybridization of Caturra (a naturally occurring dwarf Bourbon mutation) and Mundo Novo (a spontaneously occurring Bourbon and Typica hybrid) in Brazil, the Catuaí trees are resistant to wind and rain, relatively high yielding, can be planted more closely together than larger cultivars, and require some precision in fertilization to achieve proper productivity.

TASTE

ROAST

Clean, Sweet, and straight-forward, this high density, low moisture coffee cracked relatively early in the drum on both roasts. Both roast curves follow a similar profile with the second roast, PR-424, extending the overall time by 25 seconds and an increase in end temperature of 4.8 °F. PR-423 had a mild citrus acidity with notes of pear, apple and cocoa powder, while PR-424 displayed a bit more depth and character with some bitter florals, dark chocolate, and english toffee. A very sweet and juicy coffee that was easy to roast and has a tremendous amount of flexibility in the drum.

BREW

We brewed this Costa Rica honey on our Bonavita brewers and were surprised to find that our slight but unanimous preference on the cupping table did not carry over to the brew, possibly in part due to some differences in the way the two coffees extracted. While we liked the mild malic acidity and apple-juice like flavors of PR-424 during cupping, the brew of PR-423 offered more sweetness and rich plum-like flavors. Ultimately, the differences weren’t huge as the coffee is sweet and clean with what I like to call “high chuggability.” It’s unchallenging and easy to drink a cup or two while working at your desk or chatting with a friend about something entirely unrelated to coffee.

Origin Information

Grower
Rolando Esquivel
Variety
Red Catuai
Region
San Marcos de Tarrazú, San José, Costa Rica
Harvest
October – February
Altitude
1,700 meters
Soil
Sandy loam
Process
Pulped natural (Honey) and dried on raised bads
Certifications

Background Details

This coffee is sourced from a family-owned estate located near Cerro La Cruz in San Marcos de Tarrazu within the province of San José, Costa Rica. The farm, called El Alto, has been in the Esquivel family for three generation. Rolando Esquivel owns and manages the family farm to preserve his grandfather’s legacy. El Alto has a micro-mill where cherry selection, depulping, and drying are meticulously executed. This honey processed coffee is an example of precisely executed methods of drying coffee while the mucilage remains attached to the bean.