Brian Beyke

PERC Coffee - Costa Rica Carrizal

Brian Beyke

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For fans of: washed Ethiopians, geocaching, and listening to vinyl.  

I was on a hunt this year to try more coffees from Costa Rica.  Fortunately for me, the folks at Savannah’s PERC have two excellent Costa Rican offerings, and they landed here in Cincinnati.  While we’ve only seen one other Costa review up this season, there will be many more in the coming weeks.  You may recognize PERC’s name, as several outstanding offerings from them have crossed the blog over the past few months.  Getting to experience multiple roasts and multiple regions from this roaster, I can now safely say they are growing into one of my favorite roasters.  Not only that, but their social media presence and ease of communication is admirable.  Today I’m excited to dig into the first of these two offerings, the Costa Rica Carrizal.  

Coopetarrazú is a vanguard of coffee producing cooperatives dedicated to the environment, wildlife, fair labor, education, and community growth.  This cooperative is working towards increasing the quality of individual communities’ coffee. How? By allowing traceable micro-lots come through their cooperative.  The better quality the coffee is, the more they can charge.  The premium paid for this coffee directly helps build roads, schools, fresh water storage, and more for the Leon Cortes region in central Costa Rica. The cooperative also provides free soil analyses so farmers can optimize coffee production.

Details:

Roaster: PERC Coffee

Region: Leon Cortez, Tarrazu, Costa Rica 

Producer: Coopetarrazú

Process: Fully washed + sundried

Varietal: Bourbon, Caturra

Elevation: 1,650 - 1,750m



Brew Method:

Chemex | 30g © to 480g (w) | 3:30 total time | 205 degrees | 1.22 TDS | 18.05% Ext. (Preferred method) 

Delicate intro to the cup.  Sweet and a bit tropical like a washed Yirgacheffe with a buttery, syrupy finish.  It’s lightly juicy as you swish around your mouth, with finishings a bit more dry with a nods to chocolate and vanilla.

So, it’s a very clean cup.  As it opens more you get some juicy apricot, apple, pear, and grape notes in there, with a little cherry cleanup and floral notes along with the light syrupiness in the finish.  Acidity is reserved in the cup, maybe a cherry or berry-like acidity in the beginning, not aggressive. 

More of that syrupy nature comes out the more it cools, still ending with a bit of tea-leaf spice in the finish as well.  It’s kind of a shifty cup- it has moments of sweet chocolate lingering, moments of fruit and floral linger, and moments of a bit spiced lingering. Either way, the cup is clean and silky, sweet and syrupy.

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Brew Method:

Aeropress (Inverted) | 17g © to 240g (w) | 2:00 then plunge by 2:30 total time | 202 degrees | 1.31 TDS | 19.60% Ext. (Immersion mode)

Dry grounds are sweet and savory, perfumed, and woody.

Wet grounds have a sweet earthy smell.

Sweet fruits and nutty on the nose.

Really pleasing fruit sweetness. The first sips actually make you second guess if this may be a honey-processed or natural, just the way the sweetness hits you.

It’s softly rich, think more along the lines of icing.  It has this really interesting conjunction of nuts, spices, and fruit notes mixing together to create a really interesting mixture of flavor.  There’s a mixture if cherry liqueur, sweet lemon, and nuts, every so often giving you the taste of hops while other moments lead to notes of chocolate, honey, pineapple, and vanilla bean.  It is pleasantly bright, sweet with a squirt of acidity, and a creamy body.

The cup now reveals aromas of florals mixed with cherry.

As it cools it still carries a bright berry acidity, you have a creamy and lightly syrupy sweetness, with notes of cherry, lemon, pineapple, apricot arriving, and ending on a nutty finish that starts to lower in intensity the cooler it grows.

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Brew Method:

Kalita Wave | 35g © to 554g (w) | 3:45 total time | 201 degrees | 1.28 TDS | 18.70% Ext.

Initial sips are a bit spiced, with notes of cherry liqueur, wood, and and also a bit of pineapple syrupiness.  I’m wondering if this is the new profile of the cup or if I’ll ever find that soft Yirgacheffe-esque profile again.  There are drops of clover honey that lie in the rear of the sips to sweeten the deal, like little sucks from a honey straw.  You know something, the cup starts to feel like it’s shifting, too.

Ah. Yes. I’ve found you.  Around 115 degrees the cup shifts and becomes a little more juicy, with a soft and sweet lemon to an otherwise more grape, apple, cherry, pear, and pineapple sweetness, slightly drying in the finish with those nutty tones we found in previous methods.  The honey now seems more flavorful as caramel apple, but honey still seems present as well.

The slurps give way to an herbal mixture, tea-like spice, cinnamon, vanilla and orange.

It’s a bit splashy and citrusy on the front of each sip, fruity, sweet and cherry fronted in the center, then a nice soft syrupy coating finish. The ending is neat, as you have what seems like pineapple syrup and cherry really closely knit together in the body, and raspberry candies really closely webbed with some soft floral tones in that syrupy finish.

The final, final sips do lose a lot of the spice and instead replace it with candy-sweet fruit notes. That Yirgacheffe-esque profile is back, but sadly when I have the least amount left in my cup.

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Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 14.4g © to 228g (w) | 2:10 total time | 202 degrees | 1.35 TDS | % Ext.

Soft, honeyed aroma, sugary, chocolate.

First sips are dense.  Syrupy, a bit spiced and lightly woody, with a sweet tropical fruit flavor out the back end.  This will open quite soon.

Not a few moments later does it, with clean and slightly tingly notes of grape, cranberry, pomegranate, apple juice on the front, splashy, juicy, and sweet before a slightly drying, spiced finish with hints of cocoa added as well.

It continues to grow sweeter, and the body more delicate akin to a Yirgacheffe like mentioned previously.  Lighter notes of floral, mango, and cherry appear in the cup, surrounded by what tastes more similar to graham cracker, but ultimately ends on a clean splash of fruits and then a more lingering but still dry sweet spiced finish (almost like cinnamon baked apples).

The final sips are so palpable with apple crispness introing each sip, then flowing with honey, praline ( vanilla bean, brown sugar, cream), cherry, cotton candy, and some perfumed sweetness that I just can’t put my finger on, which sucks because it’s absolutely stunning.

The coldest moments are the BEST.  Syrupy, lingering sweetness.  

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Brew Method:

Espresso | Crossland CC1 | Bottomless triple basket | 21.5g in | 39g out | 0:32 total time | 199 degrees

Smooth, sweet, balanced fruit punch intro.  The body feels a bit gritty in the mouthfeel which reminds me of Flintstone vitamins sweetness, but growing more creamy with a chocolate porter finish.  Growing sweet lemon with a chocolate bark ending and lingering spice.

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 I really enjoyed this coffee.  I did find that it seemed to benefit from either tightening your grind a bit, or updosing slightly as the TDS readings were a bit on the low end.  That being said, I still really enjoyed how quiet of an offering this cup could be too.  That first, soft, Yirgacheffe-like make of the coffee was really impressive, and helped show me a bit of the notes that are able to be drawn out from a Costa Rican offering.  It seemed to hold on to what some may call a “typical Costa Rica profile”, but still had enough shifting from beginning to end to always leave you fully impressed.  It packed a lot of complexity, a lot of change through the cup, and overall a great impression of an excellently executed Costa Rican coffee.  

Co-host of the I Brew My Own Coffee Podcast and always has all the chocolate. I also love to play board games. Yea, let's go do that right now.