Have you ever experienced the anticipation for something in your life that only comes around once a year? You anxiously wait months for its arrival and when it shows up you completely forget how much you were suffering.
There’s a coffee that’s better than a birthday present, closer to my heart than Christmas cookies, and even more delicious than, dare I say, a Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day.
I have a crush on Costa Rica Hacienda Sonora Catuai Rojo. When brewed on chemex, its flavors from the natural process seem to jump straight from the colorful canvas of its bountiful origin into the cup.
When hot, this coffee greets you with a salt water taffy-like flavor of butterscotch. As it lingers over the palate, it plays a game of hide-and-seek with your taste buds: light and sugary one second, dense and caramelly the next.
As it cools, the flavors really open up. Juicy and rich, raspberry compote and angel food cake swirl in eye rolling bliss. The finish is milk chocolate and honey crisp like a european dessert wafer. It’s as if the coffee says, “Let’s take a stroll down the Champs-Elysees and stop in every patisserie we pass.”
If you can get the cup to last longer, there are subtle hints of stonefruit and a clean lime tartness even further down the cooling spectrum as it nears expiration.
Hacienda Sonora Catuai Rojo thrives in rich volcanic soil at 1,200 masl shared with sugar cane on the mountain slopes of the Poas volcano in Costa Rica’s diverse Central Valley. The lush habitat is not only excellent for cultivating coffee, but exotic birds and rare animal species flourish in the diverse tropical forest.
The Catuai varietal, a hybrid of Caturra and Mundo Novo, grows close to the ground and its strong branches can clutch its cherries even in high winds, although it does not have a strong defense from pests and disease.
I’m happy to be roasting and enjoying this spectacular coffee for the second year since we started a direct trade relationship with Hacienda Sonora. If you can’t find this coffee at your neighborhood cafe, you can order here at Conduit Coffee Co.
Origin: Costa Rica
Farm: Hacienda Sonora
Varietal: (red) Catuai
Elevation: 1,200 masl