Costa Rica coffee producers are known for their ability to create interesting flavour profile with various kinds of honey processed coffee. For those who do not know yet, the “honey” process got its name because of a special processing method where the mucilage is not removed from the coffee seeds during the drying process to allow fermentation (as opposed to washed process), resulting in a sticky texture and sweet scent in the process which reminds one of an aged wild honey. No real honey is used in the process.
The “Spider Monkey” is a black honey processed coffee from the Lomasal Rio processing station. It is called “Spider Monkey” as a tribute to the Costa Rican’s native primate with hair colours ranging from ruddy gold to black.
Black honey process is the most complex, laborious and expensive way to produce green coffee among all other honey processing methods (which includes white, yellow, gold, red and black honey), but all the efforts results in a rich-bodied, flavourful coffee unlike any other. Since 100% of the mucilage still envelopes the coffee seed during the long processing period, the coffee producer needs to maintain constant vigilance to prevent over-fermentation or even molding to ensure minimum loss and maximum flavour potential.
Atarrazu means “a volcanic rocky terrain”. With the natural advantage of fertile volcanic soil and an altitude of 1500m above sea level that promises cold climate, the coffees from Costa Rica Tarrazu mature slowly into smaller yet heavy fruits over a long period. The high density nature of the bean delivers much more sweetness along with rich and creamy texture.
We could already smell the sweet and rich scent from the green beans before roasting. After roasting, the dry aroma entails chocolate milk candy and walnut. Sipping it in, we noticed notes of sweet raisins and confitures with a sweet taste that reminds us of honey. There is also a touch of brown sugar aftertaste to it that prolonged the enjoyment of a good coffee.