Crown Jewel Costa Rica Santa Maria De Dota El Vapor Natural CJ1486 – *52127* – 27768 – SPOT RCWHSE

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Warehouses Oakland

Flavor Profile Strawberry, watermelon, peach, juicy, effervescent

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This is a traditional natural coffee from Dota, Costa Rica, produced by Coopedota. 

The flavor profile is unique and intriguing with strong stone fruit notes of nectarine and plum followed by dark chocolate, blueberry, and salted caramel. We noted hints of florality, baking spice, and candy as well. 

Our roasters noted a lot of dark chaff during roasting and encourage cleaning your chaff collector and keeping a close eye on color development. 

Our baristas found the coffee to benefit from a higher water to coffee ratio. 

Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman 

This intriguing natural from Coopedota’s special selection of coffees grown around their processing facilities in Santa Maria is always an adventure. We’ve carried this Crown Jewel for a number of consecutive years and it never fails to be delicious and beguiling. 

It has an ongoing habit of being a bit of a chameleon, from season to season the coffee often defies expectations based on previous harvest cycles, but even in the same batch of green, a slight shift in the nuance of a roast may change the flavor tone from warm spice to cooling florals to white-hot acidity. 

Mostly, however, we found the coffee easy to appreciate (even if befuddling to analyze) and enjoyed so many of its different shades depending on brew choices and roasting styles. The experience usually leads the taster down a broad path of stone fruit flavors, like plum, peach, and ripe nectarine, before slowly bending its arc towards sugar-sweetened blueberries and deep notes of dark chocolate and caramel. On the fringes, our tasters found hints of salted watermelon, Belgian waffle, Damascus rose, and twizzlers, which is among the more unique combination of four flavors I’ve ever put to paper when describing a coffee. 


Source Analysis by Chris Kornman 

El Vapor, “The Steam,” is a special selection of coffee from the heart of Costa Rica’s coffee lands, in the town of Santa Maria de Dota. 

Santa Maria is home to one of Costa Rica’s finest cooperatives, Coopedota. It is the world’s first certified carbon-neutral coffee exporter, but it’s much more than just a supplier with a great certification. The cooperative integrates social services and environmental protections while producing some of the highest quality coffee available in Costa Rica.  

CoopeDota’s farms stretch deep into central Costa Rica and while they produce a significant volume, they also are deeply invested in highlighting exceptional microlots. Coopedota provides members with educational opportunities in addition to access to wet and dry milling services, yet the outreach extends far beyond processing: coffee by-products are used to fuel the mechanical drying guardiolas and water use during processing is reduced by using eco-pulpers. The cooperative manages trash pickup in the city of Santa Maria de Dota and has been able to repurpose waste into renewable forms of energy. They also roast their own coffee and operate three cafes and a cupper/barista training center. 


Green Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Some pleasant surprises in this green coffee, including a refreshing tart cherry and fresh herb aroma. The green is slightly pale with a lot of reddish silver skin. It’s been very nicely sorted, almost exclusively larger bean sizes from 16-18, with a very high density and perfectly stable moisture figures. This is a really nice, recently landed fresh crop natural Costa, a testament to excellent post-harvest practices.  

El Vapor 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. 

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Recalling our roasts of last year’s harvest of the El Vapor natural, I planned to roast this coffee with a drawn-out Maillard phase, extending browning reactions in order to enhance sweetness and viscosity. 

Our sample roasts had shown a berry-forward coffee with some mild toasty notes, and I hoped to showcase a slightly gentler profile on the Diedrich, stalling the roast a bit after first crack to preserve some of the more delicate flavors. 

I used a moderate charge temperature at around 400F for this 5.5lb batch, and made my first gas adjustment halfway between the roast’s start and the turning point, up to 70% gas, and held there until color change. Opening airflow to 50% at three minutes, right as the rate of rise crested, I pulled back on the gas at color change in two quick movements back to idle by 5:30. My final move, opening the airflow fully, anticipated first crack by about the six minute mark, nearly two and a half minutes before first crack began. This slowed the roast progress significantly, putting my rate of change well below 15F/minute at the slightly late and soft first crack, which coasted to a short development time but yielded a medium-light 54 on the ground ColorTrack reading. 

The results on the cupping table were curious at first, with delicate stone fruit flavors accompanied by tea-like notes and a pretzel-like savory flavor. The coffee cooled exceptionally, however, with hints of florality, sugary-sweet blueberry and grape candy, and some suggestions of citrus floating to the surface. 

Brewed as a drip coffee about a week after roasting, the coffee had further settled into an elegant and delicately fruity coffee with an easy-going chuggability, particularly dangerous given how late in the day I was presented with a cup. 

This coffee, notably, produces a lot of dark chaff, so take caution when roasting to check your chaff can before starting, and use discretion when evaluating the color, as it may be somewhat deceptive depending on how much chaff is still in the drum. 

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman 

Unless otherwise noted, we use both the site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on, 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! 

Nearly every year, we get a look at this atypical and phenomenal natural coffee from CoopeDota. Consistency is clearly their strong suit, and this mark has made it to the Crown Jewel menu every one of those years – it never disappoints.  

This is also a super dense coffee that I knew would take on plenty of heat, and continue a trajectory past 330F without much prompting. I started with plenty of heat, dropping 500g of this coffee into a 428F barrel, with only F1 fan application. The goal was to get through Green/Drying phase expeditiously, and that definitely happened! At 264F / 2:00 the roast was moving so quickly that I reduced heat to P7 and increased fan to F2, then F3, then F4 going into yellowing at 4:00. “This coffee can really cook!” I thought to myself. So much so that I reduced heat to P6 and increased fan speed to F5 at 365F / 6:40, then P5 at first crack. The crack on this coffee is fairly soft, so keep an ear to the drum to make sure you catch the small pops. In the end, I was able to get a ratio of 39% / 46% / 14% – a healthy amount of time in Post-Crack Development with an end temperature of 403.7F at 10:27. A little on the higher end of the temperature range, but nothing too dark.  

All was revealed as I cleaned the chaff canister on the Bullet – it was completely full! What’s more, the chaff screen was completely caked with chaff and oils. I would say that it’s a safe bet to clean your machine before and after roasting this coffee! My troubles with airflow were clearly due to the interaction of chaff on the screen, so your milage may vary using my roast curve above! A word of warning.  

That being said, the coffee was still delicious, and a credit to its producers at CoopeDota once again. Dried apricot, and a finish like lemon zest. Guava and dark chocolate came through on this roast as well, but I think the flavors could have been even better with more airflow and a sparkling clean machine. Still, drinking this coffee is always a pleasure and allows me to reminisce on Crown Jewels past. Delectable! 


Brew Analysis by Joshua Wismans 

The El Vapor Natural from CoopeDota is an exceptional traditional natural that showcases both the bean and the process. In some of our initial brews, we found the flavors from the process to be pronounced and almost overwhelming. For the brews I’m highlighting here, I explored a higher ratio of water to coffee. The idea being to showcase the delicate in a coffee that has so much robust flavor. 

For our F70 brew, I dosed down to 18 grams and kept the grind a bit finer than we usually use (8 on the EK43). Using 300 grams of water, this recipe gave us a ratio of 16.67, a TDS of 1.39, and an extraction of 20.32%. The results were exactly what we were hoping for and something that I encourage all to replicate. Notes of nectarine and peach danced with clove and rose, all rounded out by notes of fudge and almond.    

Our Chemex brew explored more of a home approach. I updosed to 35 grams of coffee and 560 grams of water, approximating about how much two people might brew for themselves in the morning. My grind was moderately coarse (9.5 on the EK43). Because of the larger dose and coarser grind, I allowed the bloom to last a bit longer than usual. Ending with a TDS of 1.3 and an extraction of 19.89%, the brew again showcased the more delicate flavors I was hoping for. Nectarine and strawberry lemonade shone through with caramel and sweet tea. I highly recommend exploring a higher ratio of water to coffee when brewing this coffee to bring out nuance of the bean while also reveling in the classic berry and fruit of traditional natural processing.