My long, winding road trip through the United States—#50States50Roasters—reaches its final destination today, here in Morgantown, West Virginia. It’s been a grueling, though rewarding trip, even with its fair share of bumps in the road. In most of the states I visited, it was pretty easy finding great coffee; some, though, were specialty coffee deserts—the Dakotas, Alabama, Mississippi, and New Mexico all come to mind. Definitely in the latter camp is West Virginia.
It took months to find a roaster in West Virginia from which I felt buying; but a few friends and reputable sources all agreed on a small operation based on West Virginia University’s campus called Mountaineer Roasting Company (named for the school mascot), so I gave them a shot.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re cupping the Costa Rica Finca Salaca, from Mountaineer Roasting Company in Morgantown, West Virginia. Feel free to pull up a chair.
An exciting micro-lot coffee that comes from the husband and wife team, Luiz Salazar and Mari Cruz, who own and operate Monte Brisas Micro-mill and four coffee farms in the West Valley region of Costa Rica.
The Monte Brisas Micromill is owned and run by husband-and-wife team Luiz Salazar and Mari Cruz. The couple operates this mill, which is centrally located between four coffee farms that they also own, and a dry mill. Luiz and Mari both prefer the profiles of washed coffees, so most of their offerings are fully washed. This lot, however, is one of the select honey- processed microlots that they have from the most recent harvest (a process whereby a bit of the mucilage (or, honey) remains on the seed to impart more flavors from the fruit as it dries). The complexity imbued through the honey processing is noticeable in the brewed cup’s variety of flavors.*
region: Zarcero, Naranjo, West Valley, Costa Rica
farm: Finca Salaca
producer: Luiz Salazar and Mari Cruz
elevation: 1700 meters above sea level
process: black honey
The aroma of the Costa Rica Finca Salaca is sweet, bright, and vibrant. I’m already pleased with my purchase. Berries and apple burst out of the bag, with nuances of nuts and cocoa wafting behind.
This is a light-bodied coffee with a silky mouthfeel. Mirroring the aroma, vibrant and juicy fruit flavors are the most prominent flavors up front—honeycrisp apple, white grape, blackberry, candied lemon peel, and a matching Meyer lemon acidity. As the cup cools, the coffee becomes a bit sweeter with mild caramel, brown sugar, and baker’s chocolate. However, at room temperature, the flavor profile kind of collapses in on itself; but, hey, that’s a natural for ya.
Overall, this was a great cup, and Mountaineer definitely didn’t disappoint.
*content courtesy of Driftaway Coffee
What were your thoughts of this one? Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome! Feel free to enter a comment below.
UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ALL PRODUCTS REVIEWED ARE UNSOLICITED SUBMISSIONS FROM THE PRODUCT MANUFACTURER.
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.