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Costa Rica - La Pastora Double Washed

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Costa Rica - La Pastora Double Washed

Varietal –  Red Catuai
Preparation – Extended dry ferment washed
Location – San Marcos, Tarrazu
Altitude – 1900-2000 masl
Importer - Horsham Coffee Roaster

This is a bespoke micro-lot that we helped to process and is based on a method of producing washed coffee that we've found to be common in Rwanda and Kenya but seldom found in central and south America. 

We are super excited to be sourcing our Costa Rican Tarrazu coffees directly. We source our Costa Rican coffees directly in partnership with Selva Coffee, a small exporter representing a select group of coffee producers that we visited in February 2020.

These producers are located in the West Valley, Central Valley, and Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. This is now the second year that we have bought coffee from La Karola. You can read more about our direct trade coffees in our Transparency Report. 

Farm Overview

Costa Rica coffee farm - La Pastora


This stunning washed coffee comes from the La Pastora farm owned by the Montero family. Carlos Montero has been producing fantastic coffees from his own farms for many years and was one of the pioneers of the small independent micro mill. Carlos bought his first farm after saving up working in restaurants in the USA. He first worked as a member of a local co-operative selling coffee cherry to be processed as part of a regional blend. Ten years ago he set up his own mill that now produces fantastic natural, honey, and washed coffees under the family name. Carlos has three children, Marianela, Jacob and Maria Jose. Marianela is the co-founder of Selva coffee and Jacob is in charge of post-harvest processing. 

Harvesting and Processing:

Coffee was hand-harvested from trees at high altitude on the La Pastora farm located at 1900-2000masl. This is one of the highest farms in Costa Rica and benefits from fantastic soil and a stable climate. After harvesting the coffee was transported in the evening to the Don Eli micromill and left to rest overnight for processing the following day. 

I was fortunate to have been able to help with the processing of this coffee and Jacob was happy to try out a method that involved a fair amount of extra work! This the processed used to produce this wonderful microlot:
  1. Coffee was pulped using a Penagos eco-pulped set to remove just the outer skin of the coffee cherry.

    Pulping coffee

    2. Coffee was covered and left to ferment dry for 24 hrs.
    ~Dry fermented coffee

    3. The coffee was washed several times with fresh cold water to remove all remaining fruit.

    Costa Rica washed coffee

    4. After washing the coffee was left to soak in fresh cold water for 12 hrs overnight.
    5. Coffee was then moved to raised drying tables and dried in shade for 5 days.
    6. After initial shade drying the coffee was moved to sun drying on raised African beds.

    This multi stage process is a fairly common method used in countries like Kenya and Rwanda but not typically found in Costa Rica. It's certainly much more labour intensive we has resulted in a wonderfully complex washed coffee that tastes very different to most washed coffees from Costa Rica.

    Tasting Notes:

    This is a great example of an extended ferment coffee that shows more complexity than most Costa Rican washed coffees. Post harvest fermentation can make a significant positive contribution to the final flavours found within the coffee. In Costa Rica producers tend to focus on honey and natural processed coffees. Washed coffees are often produced using low water methods with no or little post harvest fermentation. The Don Eli micromill benefits from the supply of fresh spring water and they are able to process washed coffees using methods more often found in Africa. This bespoke microlot tastes quite different with wonderful notes of crisp apple, dried fruits including date and prune and a milk chocolate body. We also get a fantastic caramel like sweetness. 

    Brewing:

    This coffee works well for all brew methods. 

    Filter: Dose 15g, water 250g. 

    Espresso: Dose 17 gram to 40 gram yield over about 30 seconds. 

    This coffee is available as whole bean and pre-ground, but we recommend always grinding fresh before brewing. We sell a range of grinders if you would like to grind this coffee fresh at home. 

    Customer Reviews

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    R.H.
    Top coffee and highly efficient service in all respects
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    O.
    Really nice
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    K.F.
    Costa Rica, La Pastora
    Costa Rica Tarrazu Coffee Farm

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