“Attention to detail” is what Luis Alberto Monge says gets him such amazing quality coffee every year.
Given that personal belief, it was no surprise that the coffee grown at one of Luis’s farms, Finca Dragon, scored at 90.67, giving him the Presidential award and 2nd place win at this year’s Cup of Excellence competition.
During their buying trip to Costa Rica, Fratello visited another of Luis’s farms, Finca Santa Rosa. This was another coffee which scored 89+ on this trip, so Fratello couldn’t pass it up.
It is 100% Caturra, fully washed and 100% Sun Dried. The mechanical mucilage removers uses very little water, and all of the bi-product from this process is reused on the farms to limit the environmental impact.
Luis is also the owner of La Lia micro mill, where this coffee was processed. It’s only five years old, but capable of producing 600-700 bags of coffee per year. This is a lot considering they only have two to five workers at any given time making quality control practices easier.
Their high quality coffee starts at the roots of their coffee trees, beginning with proper fertilization. Luis explains that having low calcium in the soil will result in a beautiful looking cherry but that the bean density suffers, resulting in a higher percentage of “Quakers” in the green (bad beans). By increasing Potassium levels you will begin getting harder beans and also boost flavor and overall bean development.
Luis has been working very closely with Exclusive Coffee to customize the optimal mixture of fertilization to ensure these levels of accuracy. Only when cherries have reached their optimal level of ripeness are they picked and delivered to La Lia for processing.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Costa Rica Finca Santa Rosa, from Fratello Coffee Roasters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: San Isidro de Leon Cortez, Tarrazu, Costa Rica
farm: Finca Santa Rosa
producer: Luis Alberto Monge
elevation: 1800 – 1850 meters above sea level
process: fully washed, patio dried
Ohhhhh baby. Immediately this coffee splashes onto the palate with an unreal amount of intense flavors. There’s a very thin layer of silky Tupelo honey slip sliding over the palate, but it only serves as a vehicle that ushers in really wild tropical fruit flavors, and those flavors are the stars of the show.
This is a really bright and citric coffee with flavors of zesty orange peel and juicy, juicy mandarin. There are plenty of other flavors happening here, but that citrus is really hogging the spotlight; I’m getting further notes of raspberry, green grape, banana, mango, kiwi, coconut, and strawberry.
Closer to room temperature the coffee suddenly takes on a very floral profile, both in terms of flavor and texture. All those fruits made for a lot of juiciness, but now this coffee is like a mouthful of silky flower petals as I’m getting notes of rosemary, cherry blossom, and orange blossom (in particular) while vanilla bean and pistachio show up in the finish.
Medium body; silky mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
This, the Costa Rica Finca Santa Rosa from Fratello Coffee Roasters, is ab-so-lute-ly cray cray. And, yes, that is my expert opinion of it.
There aren’t enough nice things I can say about this coffee—it’s certainly one of my favorites of the year. Silky body, fruity/floral complexity, tremendous acidity, great balance, and such a clean taste.
This coffee won’t last long in your kitchen—I can guarantee it. It certainly didn’t last long in mine.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.