On my trip to Central America this year earlier mid April, my first priority was to taste some great coffees from the region West Valley, in Costa Rica.
To be honest, I have always tried to avoid traveling to Costa Rica, as I know too many big roasters having “bulk” coffees from the West Valley Region.
I was introduced to several “excellent farmers” who actually took me by surprise. I was amazed to observe the big changes that has happened the past 3-5 years in Costa Rica.
On my visit to Volcan Azul, fifth generation coffee producer Alejo Castro I was not in doubt that Alejo was very serious about his coffee. I have never seen such a wonderful farm with such a high standard and emotions about his coffees.
Each process is so well taken care of – in each step. Very similar to wine processing.
Alejo is also the 2017 CoE winner and they have a long coffee tradition to strive for excellence in the entire process.
It all begins with the selection of coffee varieties that can yield the quality they seek, followed by the utmost careful monitoring of their crops. Then, during the coffee harvest, they only select the coffee grains with the right level of ripeness to deliver the desired quality level to pass onto our micro-coffee mill where we carefully control every detail of the process. By handling small batches that come exclusively from their plantations they are able to achieve a high degree of traceability for each one of the micro-lots we process. There are particular micro-climates where the plantations are located, partly due to the large extensions of rainforest we preserve, which contribute to making our coffee grains unique.
This coffee is 4 among 5 other varieties I cupped with Alejo.
||100 % Arabica Bourbon
||Yellow Honey Sudan/Sarchi
||Costa Rica/West Valley
|Roast Master, Quality cupper & Barista
||Søren Stiller Markussen
This coffee is ideal to brew on
Chemex, Hario, Siphon
Brew/ratio mass depends on how you pour the water, the weight of your coffee and the length of your brew.
I like to recommend that you try to use different pouring techniques. So you will find out what will suit you and the coffee you have in your hands.
1 step: Prefinfusion = Using water to wet the coffee, so the particle can absorb water, giving access to flavour and aromas. As a rule when you use less coffee, less water is used to preinfusion. "just enough to cover the coffee in the filter".
2 step: Blooming = this is where the coffee particles is expanding, as any cellular products, giving access to transform the coffee attributes in to flavours and aromas. As a genius = less coffee/shorter blooming time. More Coffee/longer blooming time = that make sense right?
Ie. 33 g of coffee = 30 sec blooming time. 60 g of coffee = 50-60 sec blooming time.
3 step: building up your coffee in the filter = you coffee brewing times length and letting you coffee steep in the filter. Coffee needs to be handled firm and homogenises.
Ie. Dont let your coffee set/sit or "dry out in the filter" when you pour the water in your coffee filter. Virsa versa, you have to be careful, that you don't pour too much water, so you create a "swimming pool" on top of the coffee in the filter. The coffee should have a smooth "run through" contact time with water.
You can find inspiration on Brewmethods.
As a general rule you should dial in your espresso using a scale.
The first three shots is normally indicating your espresso flow and the appearance of how well your espresso flow/brew.
Your first indicator should be the first drop appearing after activating starting the water flow (pump/bottom)
I recommend the first drop to appear approx. at 6-8 sec. in that way your espressoshot will brew as long a 26-31 sec.
If it appears before 4 sec. I will recommend you should grind finer and visa versa if the first drop appears to late/after 8 sec or more.
||19,5 g dobb shot
|Vægt i væske
The dose is calculated using a 20g porta filter
Min dose 19g/Max dose 21 g. pr dobb espresso.