This is part two of our Costa Rica double-whammy end-of-season extravaganza. Even though it’s a little late in the year for Central American coffees, these gems were so nice we couldn’t help releasing them as Crown Jewels.

The yin to Rolando Esquival’s yang, this white honey processed coffee used similar techniques with different results. It offered much more elegant fruit flavor, ranging from fresh stone fruits to watermelon candy. If you’re looking for more than just a hint but less than a cup-full of fruitiness from a honey process coffee, this lot from Oscar Solís and his sons, Horacio and Alejandro, is your honey.

The Solís family’s farm is called El Llano, has been in the family for just shy of 50 years, has four generations of coffee experience, and sports a mere four acres of land. They have plans for the future to diversify their coffee crop to include SL varieties, Geisha, Villasarchi, and Typica, but at the moment the trees are 100% Catuaí. Their brand new on-site micromill gives them the ability to add value to their harvest and control processes – like crafting this white honey lot, for example.

Pulped and then dried in the sun with a minimal amount of mucilage remaining, honey processing has taken on increased levels of refinement in recent years. The varying degrees of fruit left on the parchment are referred to frequently in terms of color – white and yellow honeys have relatively little mucilage remaining, while red and to a greater degree black honeys allow much of the pulp to remain on the seed.


This coffee is dense and practically perfectly dried. Even a year off harvest it’s retained its fresh flavors. The sizing is precise, also… there’s really nothing bad to say about the green coffee at all. It just needs a good home in a loving roaster.

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.



Our first roast of the day, PR-425, bottomed out 10 °F lower than normal and it took a long time to build up enough energy to finish the roast. Since, I suspected that this curve was affected by the cool drum, I decided to keep the same charge temperature and aim for a shorter total roast time. My suspicions were correct and instead of turning at 190.8 °F, like it did in PR-425, our second roast, PR-426’s turning point was 203.4 °F. With more energy at the onset, I was able to get a shorter roast time with less heat applied and I finished with a higher end temperature by 4.5 °F. Both roasts displayed a sweet and juicy coffee with notes of mango, pineapple, and raisin, the darker roasted PR-426 had an extra depth of dried fig, vanilla, and hibiscus.


I updosed a little in our Bonavita brewers to see what a 1-16 ratio would look like. Although the extraction ended up slightly lower than usual, the coffee tasted nice. Mirroring our experience with the other Costa Rica honey we analyzed this week, this coffee flipped the script between cupping and brewing… while our group unanimously preferred PR-426 on the table for its sweet mango and hibiscus flavors, PR-425 earned high marks as drip coffee for its bright fruits like pineapple and cranberry backed up by complexities like poached pear and vanilla.

Origin Information

Oscar Solís
Red Catuai
San Marcos de Tarrazú, San José, Costa Rica
November - March
1,800 meters
Volcanic loam
Process: Pulped natural (Honey) and dried in the sun on patios and elevated tables

Background Details

This coffee is sourced from a family owned farm located in Bajo Canet near San Marcos de Tarrazu within the province of San José, Costa Rica.  El Llano is a four acre farm owned by Oscar Solís and his children Horacio Solís and Alejandro Solís.  Don Oscar is been farming coffee for the last 45 years and exporting as a microlot in the last three years. Don Oscar and his family established their own micro-mill, which allows for meticulous care in depulping, fermenting, and drying the coffee.