Finca La Gabriela is located in the Santa Cruz de León Cortés area of Aserrí, Costa Rica, about two hours south of San Jose. Gabriela owns approximately five acres of property, four of which are dedicated to coffee production. She brings ripe, red cherry down to the Rio Jorco Mill where individual farmer lots are kept separate and dried in massive, gordiola dryers to about 10.5 percent moisture content in preparation for export.
We visited Rio Jorco last February and were welcomed with open arms by Rio Jorco’s owner, Luis Alfaro. The mill is impeccably run by their manager Ruddy Azofefia who does an amazing job collaborating with over fifty small-scale producers in the region. We visited many beautiful farms in Tarrazu and met with a slew of producers.
Luis Alfaro’s grandfather, Jorge Zeledon Casto, purchased the main farm and processing facility in 1920. He had rare vision and dedication to quality way back then, made a name for himself as the godfather of specialty coffee in Tarrazu. Fast forward three generations and Luis and his brother Jim have taken the reigns and doubled down their efforts in helping producers craft some of the most delicious micro-lots in the country.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Costa Rica La Gabriela, from Kickapoo Coffee Roasters in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Aserri, Tarrazu, Costa Rica
farm: Finca La Gabriela
elevation: 1240 meters above sea level
cultivars: Caturra, Catuai
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
method: Kalita Wave
grind: 17, Preciso
coffee: 32 g
water: 500 mL
pour: 2:00 pulse pour, 1:00 drop
The aroma of the Costa Rica La Gabriela is very, very pleasant. It is sweet and inviting, but also mellow and understated; scents of graham cracker, honey, rose hips, and red fruits are very soothing, but there’s also just a hint of a biting citrus scent that entices.
As I take my first few sips of the coffee immediately post-brew, my tongue is completely enveloped by the sweet, sweet flavors of brown sugar, toffee, and honey, but it isn’t a sticky/honeyed texture; no, instead it’s really silky, which I think is thanks to the softness of rose petal and marigold. The honeyed stickiness that could have been present is also diluted by the fruity, piquant juiciness of maraschino cherry and Gala apple.
As the cup cools off, it gets juicier and juicier and its “piquant” profile gets really amplified; for every sweet note, there is an equally tart note—like lambic beer, I suppose. Beautiful flavors of peach, strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, zesty orange rind, and tangy tangerine acidity wash over the tongue, leaving behind a lingering aftertaste of pistachio and caramel apple.
Medium body; silky mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
If anything can be learned from this week, it’s that Kickapoo Coffee Roasters should play Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! because they’d probably be really good at it; with their Costa Rica La Gabriela closing out the week, they were a perfect 3 for 3.
This coffee was so beautiful. Really lively, pleasantly piquant, complex, dynamic, but also understated and elegant.
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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.