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Costa Rica Herbazu
Country - Costa Rica
Region – West Valley
Farm- Herbazu (45 Hectares, 100 pickers)
Varietal – Typica
Elevation – 1500-1600 Meters
Process - Natural
Roast – Light
Tasting Notes - Dark Chocolate, Wild Blackberry, Brown Sugar
Cup of Excellence Multiple Year Winning Farm.
A very solid light roast coffee with pepper spice acidity. In addition to the dark chocolate, wild blackberry and brown sugar notes most noticeable to our cupping team, there were also hints of watermelon and lemon.
On the Zoka Cupping Score, this Herbazu received an 87.
Zoka has been buying from Herbazu for 10 seasons. Jeff Babcock, Zoka Founder and CEO, discovered Herbazu while a judge for the Cup of Excellence (COE) competition hosted in Costa Rica in 2010. As a COE judge, Jeff noticed coffees from the Herbazu farms were not only fabulous coffees, but they were also consistent winners in the COE competitions.
Herbazu is owned by a group of siblings who are third generation coffee farmers. Managed by brother Antonio Barrantes Zuniga, a humble man who started working in his grandfather's coffee farm at the age of 14. The name Herbazu is short for Hermanos (brothers) Barrantes Zuniga (family name). Herbazu is one of eight farms owned by the family in the West Valley Region of Costa Rica. They produce Typica Mejorado, SL 28 and Villasarchi coffees at altitudes between 1,500 and 1,600 meters above sea level. These farms produce around 2,000 bags (50 pounds each) of coffee per year.
They were one of the first farms in Costa Rica to have their own micro mill to process the wet coffees (purchased in 2000) in order to keep the quality of the coffee very high. Since that time, the micro mill process on individual coffee farms has become the recognized standard for producing high quality coffee, but Antonio's team was an early adopter. Having a micro mill on site allows the coffees from each days picking to be immediately processed right on site. Without it, coffees may wait days or even weeks to travel to larger mills for processing.
Accompanying photo: Herbazu owner Antonio Barrantes Zuniga and Zoka Head Roaster Don Kutz.