October 2012 - Pablo Vargas
Being involved in developing a new product, especially the testing and approval part, is one of the special privileges of my job. Lately, I’ve been drinking our Britt’s 2012 Heritage Blend and I’ve so enjoyed it that I feel compelled to tell you about it.
We started talking about creating a blend like this more than a year ago, after buying several small batches of beans from mills renowned for their production of gourmet Costa Rican coffee. From a group of 20 micro batches produced by 20 gourmet mills we chose four. We roasted each of them independently to bring out their full potential, then we blended them together. We first did this last year for “in-house consumption” only. It was really good! So good, that this year we decided to share this achievement with all of you.
A micro batch” is a small quantity of coffee milled apart from the rest. All these micro batches are of “center harvest” beans. That means they were picked at their very ripest, when the cherries were an intense red in color. Small batches (usually 10 to 25 bags, each weighing 69 kg) are separated from the rest and handled with supreme care during the fermentation, depulping, selection and sun drying processes.
Three of the batches we selected were from small farms in Palmares, Atenas and Naranjo in Costa Rica’s western Central Valley. The fourth was from the Tarrazú region farther south. Each is a high-mountain coffee, but subject to different climates, altitudes and soil characteristics.
We roasted each batch medium-dark – a little closer to a dark roast than light. The result is a very smooth coffee, with a velvety body characteristic of the west Central Valley farms, but with the crisp acidity and chocolaty flavor of the Tarrazú region.
Our Britt’s 2012 Heritage Blend embodies the very best of gourmet, artisan-style Costa Rican coffee. You’ll note its many subtleties. In fact, I recommend you indulge in a sort of tasting session at home. Invite your friends. Compare this blend to our other coffees, especially Tarrazú, Organic, Poás, Dark Roast and Light Roast. You’ll notice the subtle differences in flavor, aroma and body.