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Costa Rica La Rosa

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La Rosa is a co-op in the Naranjo region, which is generally considered the second best coffee growing region in the country, behind only Tarrazu, but in the past couple of years Naranjo has really been giving Tarrazu some competition.  Several Cup of Excellence winning coffees have come out of Naranjo in recent years.  This coffee was grown at altitudes as high as 4,000 feet, and the quality is not disappointing.  The co-op that grows this coffee owns their own mill, earns a fair income, and practices sustainable and organic farming, but they do not use certifications.  Naranjo coffees have an alluring floral fragrance to them, and La Rosa named themselves "The Rose" because of the aroma of their coffee, and the burlap bag showcases a large bright red rose on the front of it.  Now, I have to say, I smell this and don't exactly think "rose" but I do see where they're coming from with the floral suggestion.  I would also say, don't let the name scare you away.  There is nothing about this coffee that is perfumey or unpleasant.  In the coffee world, a "floral coffee" tends to mean a delicate almost tea-like aroma that is generally accompanied with citrus and acidity -- but by and large still tastes like coffee!!  No one is going to accuse you of serving them tea or of slipping rose petals into their mug.  It's just a delicate sophisticated coffee, much like what you would find coming from Kona or the bordering Panama, but with a little more acidity, and available at a much lower price than either of those names command.

Most commercial / semi-commercial roasters I’m acquainted with sell Costa Rica on the darker side of roasts, with at least a spotty oil on the beans.  I feel that Costa Rica rarely makes a good choice for dark roast, as the body becomes too thin as you go into the 2nd cracks. This coffee is really good at City roast, say 400 degrees bean temperature, and at that level it showcases a nice (not obnoxious) brightness and floral and sweet orange undertones -- really enjoyable.  At Full City, say 407 degrees, the brightness is subdued and the coffee is more well rounded.  I wouldn't take this bean darker than that unless you want to pull espresso shots with it, at which point you could take it 5-10 seconds into 2nd cracks.

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