July 7, 2020

Brewing: Costa Rica La Pastora

Welcome to our brewing series, this time focusing on Costa Rica La Pastora! This coffee comes to us from a farm our team visited back in February, which we detailed on our last post (click here to read more).

Our inspiration behind this series is to help our community either begin their journey into manual brewing methods, or act as a starting point for additional tweaking and calibration for those who are more seasoned.

Each post will include recipes for at least one of these three popular manual brewing devices (Chemex, V60, and Aeropress), and will include grind settings based on a Baratza Encore, a popular entry-level home burr grinder. We are excited to team up on this series with Alex Wallace (@wallacecoffee on Instagram), who will be contributing his personal recipes and findings with each coffee.

So without further ado, let's brew some Costa Rica La Pastora!

Costa Rica La Pastora

Region - Tarrazu
Varietal - Caturra, Catuai, Typica
Process - African Washed
Elevation - 1700 - 2000 M
We Taste: strawberries, pastry cream, wafer

Located in Santa Maria de Dota, Finca La Pastora is owned by Minor Esquival Picado, and has been in the same family for over 60 years. In 2011, Minor built his own wet mill on the farm, and named it Micro Beneficio La Pastora. This is definitely not the norm in Costa Rica, and this has allowed Minor and his family to really experiment with different processes, and create some beautifully unique coffees!

This particular coffee is African Washed, which is processed in a style more typical of Kenya where the cherry undergoes an initial fermentation before being depulped, fermented again, and then sundried on raised beds. One of the keys to Minor’s fantastic coffee is that he only picks his coffee cherries when they are the color of Sangre de Toro (bull’s blood). The ripe cherries are almost a purple color and are at their absolute syrupy sweetest.

We may be biased by the background we have with this particular coffee, but it's hands down our favorite offering we've had this year. The fruit notes remind us of a great natural, but with more body, and an incredibly unique sweetness that is complex, and not overpowering. When we cupped this coffee, our team tasted strawberries, pastry cream sweetness, and wafer.

Alex Says...

This coffee straight up kills it in every way. As soon as I saw the bag I knew it was going to be delicious. I mean, how could it not? When you have the words “Costa Rica” and “strawberries, pastry cream, wafer” you already know it’s going to be insanely good. What’s even better, my first brew of it both hot and iced were perfect. It hit every mark and was just delicious.

It’s so well balanced in every way possible. When brewed hot it just boasts with a sweet strawberry jam and milk chocolate. It’s just super creamy and tasty. It brings this familiar taste of a fresh baked pastry crust afterwards that just finishes off such a wonderful flavor profile.

Now when brewed iced, it definitely brings the same flavors to the cup as it did hot, but it’s so refreshing and it adds this really nice orange peel acidity to the mix. It’s like a strawberry candy with citrus and it’s wonderful. I’ve had some great coffee from Atomic, but man, this one is just so welcoming, but also manages to bring a really nice amount of complexity to the cup.


Hario V60 Recipe

Quick Facts

Method: Hario V60
Ratio:  20g coffee / 320g water
Grind: 17 setting on Baratza Encore
Water Temperature: 205F
Filter: standard Hario V60 filter

Brew
0:00 - 60g | swirl
0:45 - 320g  (single pour - finish around 1:25)
Total Brew Time - 2:45

1. Boil - Start by filling up your kettle with water. If you have an electric kettle, set the temperature to 205F. If not, bring the water to a boil then let cool before brewing.

2. Grind - Weigh out 20g of coffee, and grind on your Baratza Encore at setting 17.

3. Pre-wet Filter - Place your V60 on top of the vessel you plan to brew into, and place a filter into the V60. Pour warm water over the filter, until you hit every spot. This avoids any papery tastes in your coffee. It also pre-warms the V60 and your brewing vessel, to avoid coffee cooling upon contact. This is also a good chance to pour warm water in your mug as well. Make sure to dump this water out before brewing.

4. Begin Brewing - Place your V60 / brewing vessel on top of your scale. Add your coffee to the filter. Make sure your scale is zeroed, and start your timer. Add 60g of water, then swirl the dripper to agitate the bloom. Wait until your timer says 45 seconds.

5. Continue Brewing - At 45 seconds, continue pouring water until you reach 320g. Timed right, you should finish that pour at around. 1:25 Your total brew time, the point where you can take your V60 off the brewing vessel, should be about 2:45.

6. Enjoy! - Pour into your favorite pre-warmed mug, and enjoy!


Iced V60 Recipe

Quick Facts

Method: Iced Hario V60
Ratio:  20g coffee / 160g water / 160g ice
Grind: 14 setting on Baratza Encore
Water Temperature: 205F
Filter: standard Hario V60 filter

Brew
0:00 - 60g | swirl
0:50 - 110g
1:30 - 160g
Total Brew Time - 2:40

1. Boil - Start by filling up your kettle with water. If you have an electric kettle, set the temperature to 205F. If not, bring the water to a boil then let cool before brewing.

2. Grind - Weigh out 20g of coffee, and grind on your Baratza Encore at setting 14.

3. Pre-wet Filter - Place your V60 on top of the vessel you plan to brew into, and place a filter into the V60. Pour warm water over the filter, until you hit every spot. This avoids any papery tastes in your coffee. Make sure to dump this water out before brewing.

4. Ice - Weigh out 160g of ice and place in your brewing vessel. Grab an additional glass, and fill with ice. This is the one you'll enjoy your iced La Pastora in! Large ice cubes work best to prevent further dilution.

5. Begin Brewing - Place your V60 / brewing vessel on top of your scale. Add your coffee to the filter. Make sure your scale is zeroed, and start your timer. Add 60g of water, then swirl the dripper to agitate the bloom. Wait until your timer says 50 seconds.

6. Continue Brewing - At 50 seconds, continue pouring water until you reach 110g. When your timer reaches 1:30, continue pouring water until you reach 160g. Timed right, your total brew time, and the point where you can take your V60 off the brewing vessel, should be about 2:40.

7. Pour Over Ice - Swirl your brewing vessel around to melt the ice cubes and cool your coffee, then pour over fresh ice.

8. Enjoy!

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