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Our first honey process since we sold out of a Peruvian honey just over a year ago, what a delight this visitor from the mountains of Costa Rica is. In between a natural and washed process, Aguilera Yellow produces flavor notes of orange, nectarine, cranberry with a pleasant sugary molasses finish. Those with very refined or sensitive palates may pick up berry, passionfruit and floral notes as well.
The beans come from the hilly areas south of Costa Rica, closer to the Pacific Ocean, at an elevation of around 4,500 feet, in a tiny sliver called the West Valley. Farmed on a 150 acre piece of land that is owned by a family of 12 called the Aguilera Brothers (which also consists of some sisters), the average of 150 days of rain helps produce consistently great coffee. The farm extends into some very remote and inaccessible areas, which is part of why they hire 50+ workers each year to help with the harvest, all from the same local families each year, and paying a higher than average wage for the industry in the area.
Honey process is accomplished by a de-pulping of the cherry fruit, so that most of it is gone, however it isn’t washed afterward, leaving behind a sticky mucilage that is very honey-like in texture and taste. The coffee is then turned regularly to keep the mucilage consistent and sticking to the bean. This farm dries its coffee on tarps along a soccer pitch they built for the local community and its workers, making for happy workers and coffee beans that have something to look at as they dry their way into your grinder and cup.