Oct 2016: Costa Rica Sangre De Toro
Coffee of the Month
The Sangre De Toro from Costa Rica is back and is our October Coffee of the Month! This coffee’s aroma is full of beautiful, juicy red berries. In the cup the berry flavours continue with honey, dark chocolate and blood orange acidity which defines this distinctly well-rounded and rich coffee.
Right now, Costa Rica represents the triumph of quality and attention to detail with regards to the cultivation and processing of high quality specialty coffee. This has come about largely due to a change in the business model for coffee production and export in this tiny Central American nation. The change, which began 12 years ago, is widely known as the “Micro Mill Revolution”.
With coffee prices at a low and producers struggling to make a living from a system which favoured volume over quality, some small farmers took a risk in 2003 and decided to take control of their product in a way never before seen. These famers such as Juan Ramón Alvarado of Brumas del Zurqui and the Barrantes brothers of Herbazu, took the bold step of setting up their own small mills, or “micro mills”, and taking complete control of their coffee from cultivation right through to milling. With a staunch focus on quality they sought to bring a new level of distinction directly to an international clientele, becoming both producers and entrepreneurs.
The name Sangre de Toro pays homage to this quality driven approach. When coffee fruit is ready for harvest only the ripest cherry can be removed from the tree and the fruits are a deep red colour reminiscent of blood. This perfectly ripe fruit is know in Costa Rica as “bulls blood”, or “Sangre De Toro” in Spanish.
Our Guest Taster
This month we were joined by Arrnott Olssen to taste the the Sangre De Toro, the October Coffee of the Month. Arrnott started his career out as a stylist and soon moved into the world of writing and running his blog, Rogue Homme, and when the opportunity to pop by Campos HQ in Sydney came up he jumped at it!
It’s always great to get new people into our coffee science lab to introduce them to cupping. Arrnott hadn’t tried cupping before but picked it up like a pro, after a few pointers from our Head Roaster, Adam Matheson, he started hitting notes of chocolate, toffee, golden syrup and then all of a sudden… guava jam! What a brilliant descriptor we all thought. Arnott went on to explain that growing up in Fiji he would always have guava jam around the house, it was a pain to spread on toast but its sticky, jammy goodness was worth all the work.
Chatting to Arrnott about his coffee ritual we discovered a double macchiato lover, “I’ll start with a double mac in the morning, then one at 11am… then one at 3pm”, he laughed. We think he’s on to something!
Country Costa Rica
Region Valle Occidental
Varietal Caturra, Villa Sarchi
Cupping Notes Sweet, juicy, citrus fruit, milk chocolate finish
Flavour Toffee, guava jelly, stewed fruits
Aroma Dark chocolate, golden syrup, toasted hazelnuts
Acidity and body Juicy mouthfeel, cumquat acidity