In the last few decades, Costa Rica has made quite a name for itself in the specialty coffee industry. This was no accident, it’s due to a concerted effort by farmers and the Costa Rican government to put it on the world coffee stage. In fact, the effort was so focused that for a while, Robusta beans were outlawed in order to force producers to focus on more desirable Arabica beans! While that law was repealed a few years ago to give producers more flexibility and open up more markets, the campaign to make Costa Rican coffee synonymous with world class coffee was a resounding success. The proof of this is obvious to us, because fresh arrivals from Costa Rica get us as excited as kids fresh outta school on summer vacation!
Tarrazu is probably the most recognized region in Costa Rica when it comes to growing amazing coffee, and for good reason! It’s well known for producing coffees with that rare combo of great body and vibrant acidity. Within that region is the town of Santa Maria de Dota, so named as it’s the seat of the Dota canton which makes up most of the Tarrazu region. Santa Maria de Dota is home to CoopeDota, which consists of 900 producer-members that have been working together since 1960. Besides their exceptional coffee, CoopeDota has developed a reputation for conservation because in their words “good beans are good for the environment”. In fact, they developed a first of its kind carbon neutral processing mill using hydropower energy, eco-pulpers which conserve water and even mechanical coffee driers fueled by coffee parchment!
We decided to pick up not one but 2 coffees this season from CoopeDota: this washed offering and their natural processed “El Vapor”. Both consist of a mix of the caturra and catuai arabica varieties with this one being a community lot while the El Vapor is a microlot. Don’t let “community lot” give you the wrong impression: this coffee is very well sorted (CoopeDota gives it an internal grading of AA) and carefully processed to deliver the classic washed Costa Rica Tarrazu profile. The cup is vibrant, bright and balanced with a refreshing, clean finish along with a rich, creamy body. We noted crisp grapefruit and lime zest on the front end followed up by rich milk chocolate and sweetness that reminded us of raw turbinado sugar. There’s a subtle tone of florality in the cup, most notable in the nose. All in, an excellent daily driver that will suit a wide variety of tastes and still impress discerning drinkers!
Reminder! This coffee is raw, you must roast it before brewing
Arrival Date: September 15, 2023 US Arrival: July 2023, Packed in GrainPro
Acidity & Brightness: Bright with pleasant sweetness
Balance & Finish: Very balanced with a refreshing clean finish
Body & Texture: Rich bodied with a creamy texture
Flavors: Grapefruit, lime zest, milk chocolate & raw turbinado sugar
Grade: 1550 – 1950 masl (SHG)
Processing: Fully washed, eco-pulped and dried in the sun and mechanical driers
Grower: Cooperativa de de Caficultores de Dota R.L. (CoopeDota)
Region: Dota, San José, Costa Rica
Varieties: Caturra and Catuai
Recommended Roast Range: City to Full City+ (Light to medium-dark)
We prefer this coffee like most Costa Rican coffees in the light-medium to medium-dark range and found the most balanced cup at light-medium (as first crack begins to trail off). Lighter roasts early in first crack will maximize brightness and make the cup more lively, focusing notes of grapefruit and lime. This will also bring out more florality. You can take it up to Full City + (medium-dark, the very first snap of 2nd crack) if you prefer a cup with milder acidity and want to bring out more chocolate tones. You can expect the sugars to be caramelized and complex, more like brown sugar at medium and darker roast levels.
Royal Coffee - "There is nowhere like Costa Rica when it comes to coffee cooperatives and Cooperativa de Caficultores de Dota R.L (CoopeDota), which was established in 1960, is one of the finest. It starts with an unmatched commitment to the environment. CoopeDota has a first of its kind certified carbon-neutral mill, which features hydro-powered energy consumption, water efficient eco-pulpers (also called a demucilager), and mechanical coffee dryers fueled by coffee parchment. Nearly 900 producer-members living throughout the canton of Dota within the province of San Jose, Costa Rica focus their attention on farm management throughout the year and then deliver their cherry to the CoopeDota mill where traceability and quality control are second to none. CoopeDota has an equally intricate model of income diversification with a profitable agriculture supply store and tourism department dedicated to showing off coffee farms to visitors. They also roast their own coffee and operate three cafes and a cupper/barista training center. Their commitment to the environment also extends to the community of Santa Maria de Dota where the cooperative manages trash pickup for the entire town.