Flavor Profile Red grape, strawberry, mint
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This is a traditional natural coffee from Cañuela, Costa Rica, produced by 70 farmers organized around Café de Altura.
The flavor profile is berry-forward, sweet, and very fruity, with notes of raspberry, cranberry, milk chocolate, and grape candy.
Our roasters noticed that the coffee was incredibly consistent in color and preferred slightly faster roasting styles.
Our baristas preferred higher coffee to water ratios when brewed as pour-overs, and are currently serving this selection as a cold brew.
Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman
Would you like a little coffee with your berry juice?
This bombastic natural from Costa Rican producers in Cañuela is absolutely bursting with berry sweetness. Our top tasting notes, in order of frequency, are raspberry, cranberry, and strawberry.
However, it wouldn’t be a Crown Jewel if it weren’t just a little more complex than that. We picked up a really nice milk chocolaty structure, underpinned by hints of refreshing summer treats like watermelon and mint and lemon cooler. Oh, and the sweetness! So many candies, too many to choose from, really. We noted jolly ranchers, grape candy for days.
We’re serving this up as a refreshing and juicy option as cold brew at The Crown right now, but if fruit-forward naturals are your jam, you’ll likely find any number of ways to prepare this delightful berry-blast of a coffee.
Source Analysis by Mayra Orellana-Powell
Costa Ricans have a way of producing coffee with special intensity and a level of rhythmic precision.
It begins and ends with Café de Altura de San Ramón, which owns and operates a state-of-the-art mill designed to receive cherries from many small farms and consistently process this well-balanced regional blend. Cherries are placed in a large tank with water to remove the less-dense and damaged beans that float. All of this is done with a recycling water system.
Then the cherries are transported to raised beds and gently reduce the moisture to 11 percent over a period of 16 days. After drying, the coffee is rested for a period of at least a month in silos and then milled for export with an impressive series of machines dedicated to dehulling and sorting green beans by weight and color. With every detail of the post-harvest operation covered, producers can turn their full attention to farm management practices with a special emphasis on sustainable practices.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
A bold-smelling green coffee with strong notes of ripe berry, mango and deep cherry, there is no question about the coffee’s processing method upon initial inspection! The green is a fairly dark hue underneath a little reddish silver skin, looking as if it’s spent some time conditioning. It’s a well sorted coffee with slightly larger than average Central American specs, falling mostly between 16-19. The density is very high and water activity and moisture in perfect condition. It may be a little slower to absorb heat than the average natural coffee in early roasting stages.
This coffee from Cañuela is comprised of the classic Central American combination of two short-stature cultivars: Caturra and its hybrid offspring, Catuaí. Caturra is a single-gene mutation of Bourbon, first reported in 1937 along the border of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, while Catuaí springs from a Brazilian cross of Mundo Novo (a spontaneous Bourbon-Typica hybrid) with Yellow Caturra. It was developed in the 1940s but not released into the public domain until 1970s. It retains the short stature of its Caturra heritage. The small size allows for dense planting and high per-hectare yields.
Loring S15 Falcon Analysis by Doris Garrido
Something to notice about the processing method they use for this coffee is the taste of tart and citric cleanliness, without any fermented notes that tend to translate into defects after some time. Another thing that Evan Gilman noticed on his roast, and I agreed 100%, is the lack of quakers after roasting. This is amazing proof of the cherry selection. By floating cherry and using raised beds for drying, Café de Altura de San Ramón really guards the quality of their coffee.
I got to do two roasts of 18lbs each, which is 54% of the capacity of the Loring S15 Falcon. For the first roast I did a “fast roast,” and spent 3:19 drying / 4:37 in Maillard / 1:36 in post-crack development, for a 9:30 total roast time. I started at 433F at charge temperature, adding gas to 100% close to the turning point, and lowering little by little after the 2:29 mark. I was looking to not disturb the rate of rise so much, and also to hit first crack with a rate of 10 degrees per minute, which I was able to do. I dropped the coffee of my first batch at 400.4F, with 54.4 ColorTrack for the ground beans readings.
For the second roast I went a little longer, looking to spend more time in Maillard. I started with a charge temperature of 421F and 100% gas, but different to the first roast slightly less time, and lowering the gas a little faster in order to stretch the time spent in Maillard. With 1:34 of development and 404F drop temperature, this roast concluded at 10:50.
The results were clear right on the cupping table, with no doubt the best cupping notes from the short and fast roast. A clean and juicy raspberry tartness, citric lemons mixed with delicate sweetness of berry jam, and watermelon. For the second roast we got ripe fruits, dried fig, berries, milk chocolate, sweet, but thin and grassy. Because of its clean and delicate taste, I’ll keep the first profile for future roast but both of them have good quality flavors, and showcase the great work for this caturra and catuai from Valle Cañuela Costa Rica. And for anyone interested in tasting it, this coffee will be on the menu for just a short while this summer as cold brew here at the Crown.
Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, we use both the roast.world site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on roast.world, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.
Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing!
Some coffees give you unexpected turns, and others fulfill expectations right from the green. Curiously enough, this coffee did both for me. As Chris notes above, the green state of this coffee makes it abundantly clear on first encounter that you’re dealing with a fruit-dried selection. Both the look and the smell are in-your-face natural, with a reddish orange hue to the beans, and a fragrance like berries on spring break. And so, the expectation of an unsubtle natural was established.
The unexpected turns in this coffee thankfully did not come during roasting. I started with my standard profile for 500g green coffee: 428F charge temperature, F2 fan and d6 drum speed. I wanted to give a little extra push on this coffee since it’s a natural, and used P8 power to start. Just a little after charge, I decreased airflow to F1, and stayed there until a little before yellowing, when I reduced heat to P7 and increased fan speed to F3. Marking yellowing was a bit tricky on this coffee, but I decided it was solidly yellow at 328F / 4:13. From there, I first increased fan speed to F4, then reduced power to P6, anticipating this coffee having a good deal of momentum going into first crack. Uncharacteristically, I added heat to P7 again at first crack, alongside increasing fan speed to the highest setting I personally use, F5. My final ratio of Green/Maillard/Post-Crack was 43% / 44% / 12% – give or take a percent.
Unexpectedly, when dropping this coffee out of the drum, I noticed something fabulous: zero quakers, and a super consistent coloring in the coffee. This is exceedingly rare for a natural, so many congratulations are owed to Café de Altura on their immaculate selection and processing on this lot! I haven’t seen something this consistent in, I kid you not, years.
And a fabulous flavor to match. This is a super flamboyant coffee, with punchy watermelon candy flavor, huge berries, and a complex blood orange and craisin tartness. Maybe add a lemon squeeze just to get across the spectacular flavors here. This sort of natural coffee isn’t for the faint of heart, but it completely avoids being funky, and the much bandied about ‘danger berry’ territory. Dried in the fruit, and the fruit is certainly delicious! Recommended for any preparation method, if you ask me.
Brew Analysis by Dion Wan
Between the two Costa Rican natural coffees debuting on our Crown Jewel menu, the Altura Natural just sounded so enticing. I was even more intrigued after learning of the state-of-the-art process Café de Altura used for this coffee. The two different brews for this analysis were made on the F70 from Saint Anthony and the Clever. They showed me that this coffee was just as interesting and complex as I had first thought.
My first brew started with the F70. After experimenting with lower doses, we found that the higher we went the better it tasted. 19.5 grams gave us the most from this coffee. Keeping the grind at 8, and adhering to a pour with 300g of water, we ended up with 15.38 ratio and TDS of 1.49 giving us an EXT of 20.56%. Overall, the taste was something special. Initially, I tasted a sort of sweetness to it that hinted at notes of caramel. It would also hit you with these fruity notes that were reminiscent of peaches, orange, and even hibiscus. One wild note that that the other baristas and I had was this wild note that reminded us all of bubblegum, just adding to the quirkiness of this coffee.
The second brew was on the Clever. I kept the dose at 19.5 grams, used 300 grams of water total, and it ended up yielding very close results to my first brew. Ending up with a ratio of 15.38, a TDS of 1.48, and a 19.64% extraction, this brew had a stronger lemon note, with some of the berry that was a theme as well. I tasted strawberry, raspberry, and orange. What’s interesting is that with this brew there was a cinnamon spice note that most of the baristas noticed as well. The spice ended up being my favorite part about this because it added an extra layer to the already complex flavor.
Assuming something is cool just based on the name isn’t something I would likely do regularly, but I’m glad I went this way for this analysis. I was surprised at how the flavors became so complex and seemed like they wouldn’t work together but melded together in a harmonious way. The spice note gives this coffee so much character. I believe that this coffee is something that could taste good in any method just because of how versatile it is. Thank you to Café de Altura for letting us taste such an incredible coffee.