Location: Costa Rica, Alajuela
Farm: Volcan Azul
Producer: Alejo Castro
Growing Altitude: 1600-1650 masl
Processing Method: Natural Processed
Harvest: January 2020
Product: Filter & Espresso
Flavour Notes: Raspberry, Plum & Sugar Cane
Volcan Azul is a truly remarkable coffee estate located in the Alajuela region of Costa Rica and overseen by Don Alejo Castro. The fifth generation of his family to tend to the land, Alejo is an incredibly knowledgeable farmer, and the estate has a rich history which can be clearly traced back to the late 19th century.
The farm produces a vast variety of cultivars and varietals, such as Catuai, Caturra, Obata, Villa Sarchi and Gesha. Alejo continues to propagate new varietals every season, with the objective to continuously experiment and add diversity to his harvest.
This particular coffee is carefully picked and milled at Alejo's estate, finally being processed using a natural process. This involves leaving the entirety of the cherry intact during the fermentation and drying process, imparting a complex floral and fruity flavour profile within the coffee.
This is the first year that we're working with this excellent coffee, and we hope to continue to buy this coffee over the coming years.
Espresso Roast Brewing advice:
Use a 1:2.4 brew ratio. With all espresso you must first identify the size of your filter basket - preferably of the brand and variety 'VST 'Ridgeless' - that you are using. For this particular coffee, the optimal dose would be -2g from the basket size, using a 1:2.4 ratio, and aiming for a target TDS of 8.5. Depending on which grinder and set-up you're working with, the result will be varied however our recommended total brew time is still between 27 - 29 seconds brewing this coffee.
Filter Roast Brewing advice:
Use a 1:16.1 brew ratio using the V60 brewer from Hario, aiming for a TDS of 1,31 or slightly higher for a clean and transparent yet rich brew. When working with this coffee, we recommend experimenting with a coarser grind than you may usually use rather than a traditionally finer filter grind setting.
We begin our brews with a blooming process, which indicates saturating your dry grounds with brew water, in this case roughly twice the volume of the dry dose. For this coffee, we are not agitating the grinds but resting the bloom for 40 seconds from the initial pour.
After the bloom stage of the brew is complete (40s), begin to pour once again whilst agitating the coffee grinds, pouring in clockwise circular motion and creating turbulence within the brewer. This will help to increase the strength of your brew and this method pairs well with the coarser grind setting mentioned earlier. Pour in intervals, with a maximum of 6 pulses per recipe. Calculate the appropriate amount of brew water for each pulse pour for the size of your brew, and maintain consistently timed pours and intervals.
For example, a recipe with a 18g dry dose and 300g of brew water would require pours of 50g of brew water per pulse pour, with an appropriate pulse pour interval of 30 seconds (Bloom, 0:40, 1:10, 1:40, 2:10, 2:40).
Brew with a water temperature at 92'C degrees and attempt to find a water with a total hardness of around 80 ppm. This should equate to a deliciously juicy and clean cup of coffee, with vibrant acidity as well as a rich sweetness and silken body.