Thus far, every coffee Kinser and Kent have experienced from the Mistobox subscription has been very educational. A lot of us don’t treat coffee like a craft beer or wine, and that is all changing. Taking time to enjoy a cup of well brewed quality coffee can change a person’s perspective for the hard craftsmanship that goes into every roast. If the roaster gets it right, so much character and flavor can take one’s palate for an adventure. That is the goal for Kinser and Kent. They want to help create the best experience for each coffee every time. So, let’s dive in, and see what Kinser and Kent have brewing this week!
This week, Kinser will be opening a bag of Costa Rica Sonora Honey roasted by Barefoot Coffee Roasters who have been serving up awarding winning coffee since 2003. Their Costa Rica is honey processed a.k.a pulped natural meaning that the cherry is de-pulped right after harvest just like the washed processed, however like the natural process, honey process skips the fermentation tanks and leaves and clinging mucilage to dry with the seed. This gives the coffees notes an approachable sugary, and jammy sweetness. The body is creamier than washed process. A texture closer to Honey. Not as acidic as Washed, or as high quality as Natural. Same thing as each week, Kinser and Kent with put the Costa Rica through three different brew methods and discover which one has the most exceptional taste. They will be looking to pull out notes of rich, strawberry and apple cider. Kinser has realized with previous fruity coffees, the Hario does exceptionally well.
Barefoot Coffee Roasters
Let’s dive a little deeper into Barefoot Coffee Roasters! They are in Campbell California, only thirteen minutes outside downtown San Jose. For parties, corporate and office events, they have the Barefoot Mobile Coffee Bar! Their beans, Cold Brew coffee and café in Campbell have won awards from Food & Wine Magazine, Huffington Post, 7×7, and among many others. Like wine grapes, they seek high quality traceable coffee beans grown in fertile soil, often in higher elevations, with ideal climates. Their roasts focus more on developing actual flavor notes.
“Do you really want ‘smokey’ coffee? Black, shiny beans may look good, but it generally means those beans are over-roasted (ie, burnt) and that’s what you’ll taste. The shiny oils should be on the inside of the bean!”
Costa Rica Sonora Honey
Costa Rica Sonora Honey coffee was sourced from the growing region of Carrillos Altos de Poas, Alajuela in Costa Rica and was produced by Diego Guardia on his family estate, the Hacienda Sonora, between 1,200 – 1,300 meters. Diego Guardia’s family owns Hacienda Sonora which specializes in honey and natural processes. Sonora is reputed for its quality micro-lots, specific varietal and processing separation, and leaving a positive impact on the environment and people that surround their business. All the energy consumed by the farm is harvested there and 100% renewable, powering the mill and electricity for local workers. Sonora classifies their coffee types depending on the process used in the pulping stages. Using the Honey method saves over three gallons of water per pound of coffee, and the Natural process doesn’t use any water. A cup profile of the Costa Rica Sonora Honey can be described as dried plums, apple cider and strawberry shortcake mingle with a cherry-like acidity to form a creamy body. A lingering finish rounds out this honey processed gem.
Kinser and Kent have learned from brewing previous coffees that fruitier flavored coffees do well on the Hario. This week’s coffee has notes of strawberry and apple cider. For coffees that have more of an earthy, herbal, and spice notes, like the Sumatra, tend to do well on Chemex. The French Press yielded a wonderful cup with coffees that have more of a pungent and tobacco notes. So, will the Costa Rica be favorable to the Hario? Only one way to find out!
Their Results and Recommendations
Hario V60 medium to fine grind
- Right off the bat, the aroma captured and drew Kinser in real close! He described the aroma as being sweet and fruity. Kent wasted no time in taking his first big slurp. The taste matched the smell. The strawberry notes took the show. It had a medium tea like body. The acidity really came in more as it cooled bringing the apple cider note out more. Kinser and Kent gave the Hario two big thumbs up!
Chemex medium grind
- Next up, the Chemex! The aroma didn’t quite capture Kinser like the Hario’s did. It gave more of an apple cider aroma with a small hint of strawberry. The taste left them scratching their head and wondering if it was the same coffee. The taste wasn’t not quite rich but more apple cider acidic. The body was lighter than the Hario. Overall, this isn’t a good recommendation for the Costa Rica.
Clever Dripper medium-coarse grind
- Moving on to the Clever Dripper, enthusiasm was down but curiosity was up high with Kinser and Kent. As soon as the water hit the grinds, Kinser leaned in and scooped up a hand full of the aroma. Kent stared into Kinser’s eyes waiting for a reply. Then! Kinser looked up and shook his head with sadness. Kent slowly sipped the coffee. Stood quiet for a second, and then explained the Hario has taken the win for the Costa Rica. Clever Dripper made the Costa Rica a bit pungent and held back any chance for sweetness of the strawberry to come through.
Not every coffee is going to be delicious on every brew method and a lot of this is subjective. What is good for one can be outstanding for someone else, and Kinser and Kent’s goal is the find which brew method highlights the roaster’s flavor notes the best. This week’s coffee was in favor of the Hario, and it also verified their hypothesis on fruiter coffees do a lot better on the Hario.
Every two weeks, Kinser and Kent’s local Librarian chips in and bakes something delicious for them to complement their coffee and this week, she went above and beyond! She baked up a delicious Tres Leches cake! The moistness of the cake created a delightful experience with the Costa Rica. The Costa Rica’s flavors were given an extra boost through every bite with the cake. The Tres Leches was a huge hit amongst the coffee shop veterans. Every coffeeshop should have this cake on their menu!