Costa Rica Central Valley Kinka Bear®
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*Scored at 94 for espresso by Coffee Review in Oct 2020
Tasting Note: Tangerine | Orange Peel | European Pear | Honey |
Varietal: Catuai, Villa Sarchi
Processing Method: Yellow Honey
Growing Altitude: 1600m
The name Kinka Bear® was inspired by the adorable Kinkajou (Potos Flavus), also nicknamed as “honey bear”. As an unusual member of the raccoon and the last and only species under the genus Potos, the Kinkajous live in the tropics of central and southern America. At a height of around 50cm, Kinkajous have some astonishingly long tongues (as long as 13cm) for fruit plucking or nectar extracting. Domesticated Kinkajous also consumes real honey as a part of their diet, and thus became the inspiration of this coffee’s name – the Kinka Bear®.
The coffee industry in Costa Rica has gone through something that all coffee lover should know – the micromill revolution. Sick of being haggled and under-appreciated, Costa Rican coffee producers had decided to break away from large, corporative processing stations.
Instead, they turned to a family-oriented or community-oriented (often organising themselves in an association or co-operative), where capable farms built their own mills, and even more capable farms will help several neighbouring farms to process the coffees.
Additional Notes on Yellow Honey Processing Method
Costa Rica has long known to be the home of honey processed coffees – so much that the producers disagreed with each other on how honey processed should be defined, each taking into consideration different factors like the amount of flesh left on the seed, the drying time and the bean-flipping frequency.
The passions and disagreements ended in a rather interesting result where different colours are used to categorize different levels of honey processes: white, yellow, orange, gold, red, black and others. The deeper the colour, the more flesh is allowed to adhere to the beans during the drying process.
Yellow honey process means that a slight amount of fruit flesh or “honey” was allowed to adhere to the beans during drying.