Bean Hunter’s Blog 12.22.11

What’s Currently In My Cup?

By Paul Massard, Bean Hunter

One of the biggest benefits of being a Green Coffee Buyer and working at a roasting facility is that I have access to amazing coffee every single day. To give you some insight into my life, I’ll tell you a little secret:  I look forward to my first cup of coffee in the morning just as much as (or even more than) a young child looks forward to presents on Christmas morning. This means that you can usually find me in the cupping room early in the morning preparing my first cup.

The brew method I use varies depending on the coffee that I’ve chosen. Recently I have been infatuated with one particular coffee:  our Costa Rica Don Quijote. The reason for this is simple. The winter weather has once again started here in our part of the country, which means soon I will be on a plane to visit our partners on the ground in beautiful and (most importantly) sunny Costa Rica. The thought and taste of this coffee takes me back two years ago when I was lucky enough to be fully immersed into the coffee supply chain while spending two long hard weeks working in every aspect of it. During this time I learned more than I thought was imaginable about coffee, as well as met some of the most incredible people in the world. If you have never had the pleasure of tasting this coffee you really need to.

The way that I prefer to brew my Don Quijote is through a Hario V60 pourover because it gives the coffee a nice bright lemon/orange peel acidity and a soft creamy body with notes of sweet  Meyer lemon and spice that seem to remain on your tongue for hours. What gives this coffee its extra “ism”, and takes it from good to great is all of the environmental and physical factors that go into its creation. It comes from one of the best micro climates in Costa Rica, the Naranjo region, where the Caturra coffee varietal is grown at an altitude between 4,500 and 5,000 meters above sea level. Once the coffee is picked it is raced to the wet mill where the coffee is pulped (the beans or seeds are separated from the outside skin) before being put into fermentation tanks where it sits to ferment and release the mucilage that surround the coffee beans. After 10-12 hours the coffee is rinsed to stop the fermentation process and then taken out to a mix of African drying beds and large concrete patios where it’s sun dried.  All of these unique factors work together in harmony to make one of the world’s greatest creations.