Tasting: Santa Elena Tarrazu Miel

  • Rating: Rating: ★★★★☆

Coffee is a fruit, you know… Sipping the cup in front of me, this simple truth is underlined. The cup is lush, heavily fruited with black cherry, and reveals a sweet tobacco finish. Oh… and it’s from Costa Rica.

The coffee is Santa Elena Tarrazu Miel. Now, Santa Elena is a big coffee farm in Tarrazu, Costa Rica. Big enough they have their own mill… and big enough that when the top 10% or so of their coffee meets specialty coffee standards, it’s a lot of coffee. Erna Knutsen, the grand damme of the specialty coffee trade [and the originator of the term Specialty Coffee] convinced the folks at Santa Elena to process this coffee, this very fine Tarrazu coffee, like folks in Sumatra do… a “semi-wash” process that left the pulp of the fruit on the bean while it dried.

Unheard of!

It was almost certainly something of a leap of faith for Santa Elena farm… maybe even for Erna! But the result is unique, and distinctive, and very enjoyable. It’s not your typical Tarrazu… it’s sweeter, it’s more complex, it’s richer in body.

Thanks, Erna.