Costa Rica Yellow Honey Microlot


Roast: Light-Medium
Region: Tarrazu
Farm: La Ladera
Process: Yellow Honey
Elevation: 1,700m
Variety: Catuai
Cup: Rainier Cherry, Chocolate Banana, Toffee

whiskey coffee
coffee cupping

Cupping Notes

This coffee is sure to be a highlight of your summer!

To the joy of many, we are doubling up on Costa Rican offerings here at Peregrine. However, their country of origin is where the similarities end.

Differing greatly from the traditional "clean cup" coffees that come from Costa Rica, this coffee is very unique. The yellow honey process has transformed this coffee into something truly transcendent.

Most notably, the level of sweetness and body have been greatly bolstered. While you would usually find citric acid galore in Costa Rican coffee, we found a much more tamed level of acid in this cup. This contributes to a different set of notes. Intense levels of citric acid may remind you mostly of sharp citrus fruits, but we found something more balanced here.

Additionally, rather than leaning towards being tea-like and thin-bodied, this coffee is a lot more syrupy and full-bodied.

We have the honey process to thank for all of this!

Compared to a natural process or a washed process (the two dominant types of processes), a honey process lands somewhere in between, striking a great balance. During the honey process, coffee beans are stripped of their outermost portions and left to dry in its "mucilage"—in my words, like a partial, halfway natural process. The result is a clean flavor with plenty of fruit sweetness.

Here's what we're tasting:

Rainier Cherry. The intense sweetness reminded us most of cherries. Specifically, we were reminded of Rainier cherries, which are considered by many to be the sweetest type. Due to intentional breeding, these cherries are low in acidity and thus higher in sweetness. We think that is very emblematic of the honey process.

Chocolate Banana. While having a pleasant level of fruitiness, this coffee is also heavy on chocolate notes. We found that the combination of acidity and sweetness reminded us of chocolate-covered bananas. (Arrott): I was also really reminded of Banana Bomb Pops from my childhood summers.

Toffee. The flavor of toffee is extremely desirable in coffee. Toffee, in case you didn’t  know, is a confection usually made by caramelizing sugar or molasses and then adding butter and flour. It's a tasty treat and is big on brown sugar notes.

Farming Notes

Costa Rica Yellow Honey is the result of so much hard work by the Bonilla Family.  On their farm in Costa Rica, the coffee is grown with the highest standards of quality.

At harvest at La Ladera, the coffee (with some mucilage intact) spends 6 days patio-dried in the sun and then is finished off via mechanical drying methods.

We are so happy to be able to bring in another coffee from our friends at Red Fox Coffee Merchants. Special thanks are due to Rachel Stanich for her hard work in helping us secure this unique special offering from the Bonillas.

Red Fox has provided some excellent supplementary info we’d like to share:

“La Ladera [the farm] is located in the highest reaches of Tarrazu on a steep hill where coffee receives the sun’s first rays. Inherited by the Bonilla family over 100 years ago, La Ladera is also serviced by processing plant Don Mayo, famously named after the father of Don Franco Bonilla. No aspect of La Ladera goes fallow. The sentimentality attributed to the land is present in the cup quality here.”

We can taste that sentimentality for the land in every cup of Yellow Honey. It is clear that there is a deep love for the coffees produced at La Ladera by the Bonilla family. We appreciatetheir hard work in producing such a wonderful coffee.

We really hope you enjoy this special cup!