Crown Jewel Costa Rica Santa Maria de Dota El Vapor Natural

Boxes 0

Warehouses Oakland

Out of stock


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

The flavor profile is jammy and crisp, with notes of watermelon, blackberry, and peach. 

Our roasters found the coffee’s sweetness and jamminess benefited from extended Maillard reactions and encourage a gentle heat approach. 

When brewed as a pour-over, lighter roasts yielded a wide array of possibilities, while as an espresso the coffee was easy to dial and fun to taste. 

Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman 

A sugary fruit-bomb natural coffee from Costa Rica is a rare joy, and we’ve really taken to this one – so much so that we’re serving it as espresso at The Crown. The coffee is bright but balanced at lighter roasting styles, while extending Maillard Reactions really benefits the jammy sweetness. We can’t stop thinking about fresh watermelon, peaches, blackberries, and cherries. It’s clean and crisp and everything you’d hope for from this well-regarded cooperative. 

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 

This is a nicely graded and prepped natural coffee from a cooperative with a reputation for excellence. While Coopedota may be able to expertly process massive amounts of high quality bulk outturns, they’ve also demonstrated time and again the precision and expertise required for micromilled selections as well. This El Vapor lot is moderately large with a standard 15-18 EP style sizing. Moisture figures are right in the middle and the density is very high. 

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 

A perennial favorite around here, Coopedota’s fruit-dried El Vapor finally graces our presence and we’re looking forward to roasting it up and serving it as espresso here at The Crown. 

My first take on espresso roasting is usually to think of a drip roast, and then extend Maillard by about 30 seconds and shoot for a medium-light color with slow even development after first crack. Easier said than done, especially with natural process coffees, whose tendency is to fly off the rails at first crack, given the opportunity. 

I charged this 5.5lb batch into the drum at a moderate 380F with a 50% airflow setting and held my gas pressure steady at about 60% throughout almost the entire roast. I opened the airflow completely through the drum at observable color changes at about 5 minutes, halfway through the total roast time. 

I kept a close eye on the color of the coffee as it began to take on browner hues and realized that I’d been mistaking a dip in the ROR as the result of overuse of the tryer. First crack was slow, and rolling and as soon as I recognized it, I immediately dropped the gas to our lowest setting, about 30% total power but I’d entered development with a little too much momentum. I shut off the burners very briefly about 45 seconds before the end of the roast and let the coffee coast slowly as it browned. 

I probably could’ve taken the coffee a little darker, and I was surprised at how quickly the beans responded to momentum changes at first crack. The coffee Colortracked at 54.75 (ground), a little lighter than I’d hoped for, and while the flavors were lovely (hibiscus, watermelon, raspberry) the body was surprisingly a little thin and the finish a bit short. 

Having tasted an initial dial that Elise Becker pulled during a sleepy Monday at the Crown (exactly 1 week off roasting) I’m confident in the profile here as published, but with the benefit of hindsight, the coffee’s well suited for additional caramelization and you can go a little longer and a few degrees darker after first crack to really highlight some additional sweetness. That being said, this is an unmistakably fruity coffee and I’m looking forward to seeing what the barista team pulls off with this slightly-lighter-than-intended roast profile. Check the Loring profile on the following tab for an updated production roast that’s been fully dialed in.

Loring S15 Falcon Analysis by Chris Kornman & Doris Garrido

This is our Production Roast for espresso service at the Crown, crafted by Doris and myself on the fly using an older profile for CJ1411 Mexico Rosalba Cifuentes. We knew from our earlier Diedrich roasts the coffee preferred a long Maillard, and we’ve been trying out higher charge temperatures on the Loring lately.

The profile here is ideal for an 18-22 lb batch size and easy to repeat. Starting with a charge temperature of 420F, we turn the gas up to 80% as soon as the machine allows, and then drop to about 60% at color change which should occur in under 4 minutes. A second drop to about 50% burner power at around 5:30 will help to extend Maillard (as shown, the roast is over 50% color development). First crack should start around 10 minutes, and can be lightly anticipated with a few incremental drops in burner power. Just 80-90 seconds PCD should net you a surprisingly dark internal colortrack of 58 with a flavor profile that bursts with various and sundry melon fruit notes and candy sweetness and a mild candied almond note.

Oh, and your baristas will thank you. The coffee is mercifully easy to dial on bar after about 7-12 days rest. Enjoy!

Quest M3s Analysis by Evan Gilman 

Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Quest roasts. Generally, I’ll allow the machine to warm up for 15 minutes until my environmental temperature reading is at least 250F, weigh out 200g batch size, and begin roasting when I’ve reached my desired charge temperature.  Read my initial post here and my updated post here. 

I remember this coffee vividly from last year, not only because of its incredibly fruity profile, but also because of how well it aged. I had extras left over from this sample, and even in December of last year it tasted amazing, without even a hint of age. In any case, this is a fresh lot, and I imagine it will continue tasting just as fresh for some time to come! 

Since I am such a sucker for sweetness in coffee, and for jammy naturals like this one, I like to extend Maillard as long as possible when roasting them on the Quest M3s. This usually works to bring out the sugary aspects of a coffee very well, while toning down some of the bright or sour notes that come along with a natural process coffee.  

The machine was well heated before this roast, and I started off with a charge temperature of 386F, and 300F environmental temp on the Quest’s probe. 10A heat application and full fan speed until just before turning point allowed this coffee to soak up heat from its surroundings while carrying away some initial moisture. Again, I wanted to spend more time between 300F and crack (Maillard stage) than anywhere in the roast, so I engaged fan to 3 at 240F / 2:25, quite a bit earlier than usual. I then ramped down heat application to 7.5A at 265F / 2:55, and engaged fan to full speed at 300F / 3:55. Then it was a nice long wait until just before first crack. To give this coffee a bump to make it through the heat and moisture loss that usually accompanies first crack, I increased heat application back to 10A at 350F / 6:00, but just for 30 seconds. As soon as first crack began, I cut heat application entirely, and rode out the rest of the roast on the inertia of that extra boost. 

The gambit paid off! I was able to spend the majority of this roast in Maillard. Unfortunately I did see a slight rate of rise increase just before first crack, following my increase in heat application. What I didn’t see was a significant roasty or flattened flavor in the cup due to this move. It’s useful to avoid too much increase in delta late in the roast, but in this case I didn’t see any negative repercussions.  

This was a super fruity cup, with some gentle florals as well. Strawberry, fruit leather, dark chocolate, and cherry cordial came through screamingly in the cup. This is a sticky-sweet dessert coffee, and I would (and might) have a cup of this alongside some chocolate ice cream, or dare I say, just use it to make a coffee ice cream. It finally felt like summer in the Bay Area this weekend, so I’m tempted. If you like sweet and fruity coffees, this one is for you! 

One final note – don’t forget to clean your chaff from the machine after roasting this coffee! It is very chaffy, and you’ll lose airflow in the Quest M3s, as well as risking roaster fire. Keep that chaff cup clean! 

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Doris Garrido 

From the aromatic smells while I was grinding it, the standard profile stands up for this Costa Rica El Vapor natural process coffee. The candy cocoa aromas gives me an idea of how this profile is going to taste in the cup. On the other hand, Maillard and Low AF profiles have low fragrance, and also color looks lighter so I’m expecting a thinner body. 

Body, as I was expecting, is the first roast step up with a syrupy body, sweet and balance flavors, long lasting aftertaste and pleasant to the palate. Second roast was lighter but with higher acidity. Third one results in a little bit milky with some soft sweetness. 

Acidity sensation varies in these three profiles, the first has a balance acidity, strawberry, blood orange, jolly rancher, while in the second acidity was brighter, green grapes, and some dry fruits notes, Third profile turns in low acidity and a little flat. 

Sweetness, of course the first profile has the balance, plum, raisin, cocoa, hard candy, jolly ranchers. Second has less sweetness but there’s some cane sugar, honeysuckle, and our low air flow gives us a soupy flavor, not too much body, low in acidity and body. 

As a result, the standard roast profile gives this natural coffee a lot of good and pleasant tastes. 

 You can download the profile to your Ikawa Pro app here: 

Roast 1:Crown Standard SR 1.0          

Roast 2:Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0          

Roast 3:Crown 7m SRLowAF2 

Brew Analysis by Colin Cahill 

We were captivated in the tasting room by this bright, clean, fruity natural process bean from Costa Rica! We played around with it on the Saint Anthony Industries C70, the Fellow Stagg, the Bee House ceramic dripper, and as an espresso. This coffee brewed up beautifully, yielding consistently sweet and jammy brews. Doris pulled some shots of it as an espresso and found layers of sweet grape flavor, strawberry jam, and various candies (especially cotton candy and bubble gum). On our pour over bar, juicy watermelon, stone fruit, and berry notes tended to dominate, with almost no hint of fermentation—a relatively rare thing for a natural process coffee. 

The SAI C70, with those crisp, thick filters, yielded the softest brew, despite having the slowest brew time. Coming out in almost four minutes, the C70 brew featured a slightly softer acidity while still being so sweet and jammy. This softer brew was loaded with watermelon, stone fruit, and berry notes, along with hints of subtle florality, including notes of lavender. Those peachy and berry notes were just a little sharper in a brew from the Bee House dripper, which also shined with notes of raspberry jam, sweet almond, and hints of rose.  

Shifting to the Fellow Stagg flatbed brewer, we yielded a syrupy brew with a heavier body, tons of sweetness, and with more intense, fruity flavors. I would expect other flatbed brewers to yield brews with similarly syrupy bodies. Notes of strawberry—especially cooked strawberry—seemed to dominate in this brew, followed by blood orange and apricot, and rounded out with hints of honey, caramel, and vanilla. We happily sipped on these brews, and we are looking forward to playing with this clean, fruity natural more in the tasting room! 

Coffee Background

This coffee is sourced from Cooperativa de  de Caficultores de Dota R.L (CoopeDota ), which was founded in 1960, and has 850 members living throughout the canton of Dota within the province of San Jose, Costa Rica. CoopeDota strives for a sustainable economic impact in the community through the creation of jobs. CoopeDota sells roasted coffee for the national consumption, operates a coffee shop and hardware store, and offers guided tours of their coffee farms.