We are super excited to introduce you to this month's Magic Seeds, a yellow honey processed Caturra and Catuai variety by Oscar and Francisca Chacon at Las Lajas. This farm is just an hour's drive from July's Magic Seeds farm. We have plenty to say about that, but first let's take a look at our Daily Drinker. This month we have the wonderful opportunity to taste two great coffees from the same region, but also to see what makes one exceptional.
Your August Daily Drinker comes from the West Valley of Costa Rica. It is a regional selection of multiple farms, each with their own combination of coffee varieties and processing influence. You should see similarities between your two coffees this month, as Caturra and Catuai are among the most common varieties in the area and more farms are adding honey processing to their standard approaches. However, you will see a different level of flavor precision in the Magic Seeds, as it features on exceptional farm and the Cachons' particular attention to detail.
As this month's Magic Seeds comes from a farm just an hour's drive from last month's, we chose to stick with the same Daily Drinker to focus on the contrasts. In the cup we first experience raspberry flavors, with a creamy mouthfeel, and a slightly boozy finish. As the cup cools a sweet nuttiness comes forward that reminds us of pecan pie.
Oscar Cachon shows Lucho of Café Imports
Your Magic Seeds for this month come from a famous micromill I was able to visit a few years ago and owned by farmers I have met multiple times. The process we are featuring this month is one of the first they showed me in detail.
This coffee is from Las Lajas in Costa Rica's Central Valley. It is a yellow honey processed lot of Caturra and Catuai varieties grown on their farm Calle Lajas. Oscar and Francisca Chacon are third-generation coffee farmers and are among the first to produce honey and natural processed coffees in Costa Rica. After an earthquake in 2008 cut off the farms water supply for a few weeks, and in an effort to save the harvest, Oscar decided to attempt these methods he knew we used in Ethiopia and Brazil. Andrew from Café Imports was among the first to taste the result and became the first buyer of that fateful experiment.
Las Lajas is one of the only organically certified mills in the area and they take conservation environmental impact very seriously. With their use of a mechanical depulper and careful practices on their honey and natural processing, they use virtually no water for milling. While they produce multiple styles of honey, this lot is a yellow honey, which is meticulously stirred every hour. This gives the added fruity sweetness we explored last month, but with an additional transparency due to quicker drying.
Grinding this coffee, we were struck by the vibrant tropical fruit and berry aromas that filled immediately filled the air. Upon our first sips we experienced the same notes with wild strawberries, cherry hard candies, and guava being the standout flavors. These bright notes were supported by hints of vanilla bean that continued to develop as the cup cooled. As the brightness dissipated, notes of cocoa came forward. Fully developed, this coffee reminded me exactly of my favorite treat growing up; Bavarian cream flavored frozen custard with dark chocolate chunks and fresh raspberries.
We hope that you have loved this month's Magic Seeds and look forward to sharing another exceptional experience with you next month.
Photos provided by Café Imports.