Today I review a home roasted coffee from Sweet Marias. It’s a Costa Rican Don Mayo La Ladera!
Costa Rica Don Mayo -La Ladera:
Full City roasts of La Ladera are balanced, sweet nut brittle and pistachio cookie flavors juxtaposed by bittering cacao nib and cocoa. Nice dual use option for brewing and espresso. Full City to Full City+. Good for espresso.
This coffee is from the Bonilla family’s ‘Don Mayo’ micro mill. This is truly one of the oldest of the micro mills, starting back in 2003, and Hector Bonilla has worked at perfecting production at the facility along with his sons. This particular lot is from La Ladera, a farm in Leon Cortes de Tarrazu, and planted almost entirely in Caturra cultivar. They use a Penagos for mechanically-washing at the station (a version of pulp-natural that closely replicates actual ‘wet processing’), efficient water conserving machine, dry parchment on raised beds, and then do all the dry milling themselves. That’s part of the beauty of Familia Bonilla/Don Mayo mill, is their ability to oversee the coffee processing from the time it is harvested to the milled green coffee. Like many of the micro-mills, Don Mayo processes coffee from their own farms, as well as buys whole cherry from local farmers to sell as individual micro-lots.
Toffee sweetness and roasted almond accent La Ladera’s aroma and cup, praline ice cream and pecan short bread cookies come to mind when smelling the dry and wet grounds. City+ to Full City roasting plays up raw sugar and nut tones in the brewed coffee, yielding flavors of peanut brittle candy and pistachio cookies. At Full City the sweetness is like sugar in the raw, molasses undertones, a flavor of caramel pudding with notes of roasted cacao nibs provide pleasing bittersweetness in the long aftertaste. Steer clear of City roasting as the cup is dominated by grain flavors, and are without much sweetness development. Full City is my preferred roast level for both brewed coffee and espresso, where balance is struck, sweet to bittering tones complimentary in the cup.