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This one is a great story. This crop is all from one farmer's field, up in the highlands of Naranjo, and it is all the "Yellow Catuai" varietal which is a fruit that is yellow when its ripe instead of the typical red color. He "honey processed" this lot of coffee by hand which means the "honey" (the fruit pulp) was left on the coffeebean in order to give it an extra dimension of flavor and sweetness. Only 22 bags were produced like this, and we bought 1 of them.
It is uncommon to get a honey processed coffee out of Costa Rica, which usually only exports washed process beans. The farm is called "Don Pedro Estate" but Alcidez Camacho is the farmer actually in charge. Don Pedro is a long-time employee on the farm who is largely in charge of maintenance, but he is so passionate about the coffee that his enthusiasm has encompassed the entire organization, and they've named the farm after him out of appreciation.
This coffee has really heavy body for a honey processed coffee, which is nice. The undertones of honey and plum and cherry are not overpowering, but just right. You have to think about it a little bit, but it's definitely there. The real selling point is that it is a light roast coffee without sour or overly bright tones. The overall smoothness and sweetness in the coffee is enjoyable. It's what I would describe as being a "soft" coffee.
By definition, a honey coffee has had the sugars of the coffee fruit imbued into the pit during the processing, so it is a delicate bean that is susceptible to scorching. If you have a drum roaster, don't preheat it above 350 degrees, and go lower if you can. Then nudge the heat up gently, evenly, give it plenty of time to get through the 1st cracks, maybe wait 30 seconds more, let it out. If in doubt, err on the side of being too light. Keep the roast under 15 minutes. If the bean temp gets over 400 degrees you start burning the sugars. If you have a way to control the exhaust fan on your roaster, try turning it off or really low for the last minute of the roast to let the smoke mingle with the beans and give it a nice hint of smoke to complement the plum/cherry undertones.