Episode 449 on Monday the 19th of June, 2017. Costa Rica Zarcero Finca La Casa Yellow Honey Caturra

June 19, 2017

This is a coffee grown by the amazing Gillio Francesa Ferraro, a mature guy whom I met on my trip to Costa Rica a couple of years ago. We have a rule at Hasbean that if you're over 40 you can be a character (under 40 and "being a character" just makes you weird). Well, Gillio is the perfect example of a character. The first thing he said to me was that my belly looked as if I ate too much, and that I should lose some weight. I was in the midst of exercising and dieting; his brutal honesty was refreshing, if not a little quirky.

The thing that made me smile was that he was driving an old Jeep that was falling apart (he told me it was from the '60s). The best part was that the engine was a Dorman engine built in Stafford, UK. My father-in-law and two brothers-in-law all work at the factory, and it was amazing to be in a foreign location and yet see something so linked to home.

The name for this coffee in previous years has been a bit of a long one and you might have looked at it and thought, 'oof! Steve that's a bit of a long one!' but I've shortened it a little this year, but let me explain what the different parts mean...

'Costa Rica', I'm sure you can guess, is the country, and then 'Zarcero' is the micro-region/canton of Costa Rica that the coffee comes from.

'Finca La Casa' is the name of the farm that the coffee is grown on.

'Yellow honey' is the processing method, which is a variant of the pulped natural process, and then – finally – 'Caturra' is the varietal of the coffee.

This is not your typical Costa Rican coffee by the way, forget all that has come before; this is a unique cup. It's a Caturra coffee, and is grown at an altitude of 1,700 metres above sea level.

Gillio has two farms in Costa Rica. This one is called Finca La Casa (which just means 'farm at home'), and it can be found in the western valley area of Zarcero. The land around his house is rugged and difficult to farm. Gillio manages to get the very best out of it by working the land every day, even at the age of 83. I hope I'm half as active as he is when I get to that age!

In the cup expect a lovely sweetness, think white sugar with a spoon of extra sugar added. The complexity comes from it’s floral tones, think jasmine and coffee blossom. But the finish is what really makes this coffee, caramelised sugar with a creamy finish, think Creme Brûlée with a lovely toffee note.

  • Country: Costa Rica
  • Region: Western Valley
  • Province: Alajuela
  • Micro-region: Zarcero
  • Farm: Finca La Casa
  • Producer: Gillio Francesa Ferraro
  • Farm size: 2 hectares
  • Altitude: 1,700 m.a.s.l.
  • Varietal: Caturra
  • Workers: 20 harvest pickers, 4-5 farm workers, and 2 mill workers
  • Pulping: 'Penagos' technology from Colombia – fully washed mechanical elimination of mucilage
  • Processing method: Yellow honey
  • Drying method: Raised African beds


White sugar, floral, jasmine, coffee blossom, caramelised sugar, Creme Brûlée, toffee.

Clean cup: (1–8): 6
Sweetness: (1–8): 8
Acidity: (1–8): 7
Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6.5
Flavour: (1–8): 6.5
Aftertaste: (1–8): 6
Balance: (1–8): 6
Overall: (1–8): 7
Correction: (+36): +36

Total: (max. 100): 89

Episode 44​8​ on Monday the ​12​th of June, 2017. Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Wenago Washed

June 12, 2017

Wenago woreda is located in Yirgacheffe district, Gedeo Zone in the ‘Southern Nations, Nationalities & Peoples’ (SNNP) region of Ethiopia. Over a number of years the region has developed a distinguished reputation for fine coffees, producing some of the most sought-after microlots in world.

The combination of high altitude (up to 2,200m in some areas), fertile soil, consistent & plentiful rains, and an abundance of local knowledge are all contributing factors to the high status of Yirgacheffe coffees.

The indigenous ‘heirloom’ or 'wild' varietals - which grow wild in Ethiopia - are responsible for the unique flavour notes which make for an unusual but beautifully refined cup, usually characterised by strong citric acidity, sweet chocolate and floral/herbal notes of lavender, jasmine, bergamot & thyme.

Ripe cherries are delivered to the Wenago wetmill for careful sorting and pulping, before fermentation for 36-48 hours, depending on the climactic conditions. After this point the parchment coffee is thoroughly washed and graded by bean density before being dried in the sun on raised African beds for 12-15 days (until the ideal moisture level has been reached).

In the daytime the parchment needs to be raked and turned periodically to ensure a consistent drying process. The coffee is also covered between 12pm and 3pm to protect it from the hot sun, and at night time to protect it from rainfall and moisture. Once the coffee has dried to the right level it is transported to Addis Ababa for dry-milling, grading, sorting and handpicking, before being bagged in GrainPro for export.

In the cup there's white sugar and lemon juice, if only there was a shoulder of pancake too! This coffee has a really delicate body with a tiny edge of spice on the finish.

  • Country: Ethiopia
  • Region: Yirgacheffe
  • Zone: Gedeo
  • Area: Chirecha Kebele
  • Mill: Wenago
  • Varietal: Indigenous wild varietals
Processing method: Washed
  • Fermentation: Yes
  • Fermentation time: 36-48 hours
  • Drying method: Raised African beds
  • Drying time: 12-15 days
  • Altitude: 1,750–1,850 m.a.s.l.

  • Rainfall: 1,800 - 2,000 mm avg per annum
  • Soil: Fertile, red-brown, well drained.
  • Producers: 650 farmers with an average of 2 hectares of land each


White sugar, lemon juice, delicate, spice.

Clean cup: (1–8): 7
Sweetness: (1–8): 6.5
Acidity: (1–8): 7
Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6.5
Flavour: (1–8): 7
Aftertaste: (1–8): 6
Balance: (1–8): 6.5
Overall: (1–8): 6.5
Correction:(+36): +36

Total: (max. 100): 89

Episode 447 on Monday the 5th of June, 2017. Bolivia Jeivert Estanislao Pañuni

June 4, 2017

This coffee comes from the town of Irupana in the Yungas region of Bolivia. It's grown at an altitude of between 1,500 and 1,750 metres above sea level, and is a mechanically washed and dry fermented mixture of Red and Yellow Typica, Caturra and Catuai.

Estanislao Pañuni is young, enthusiastic and a self-confessed coffee lover. (Just like me!) He started out in coffee with the job of controlling the fermentation process at the Coaraca Cooperative in Bolivia, and it was there that he really developed his skills as a coffee producer. Two years ago he decided he wanted to help his father, and so he moved away from his day job to take on a role producing coffee with his dad. This coffee is the product of all that hard work, learning and family love.

In the cup I immediately get loads of caramel followed up by sweet yellow fruits, think peaches and plums. The cup finishes with nectarine and an aftertaste of dark chocolate.

  • Country: Bolivia
  • Department: La Paz
  • Region: Yungas
  • Province: Caranavi
  • Town: Irupana town
  • Farm name: Jeivert
  • Producer: Estanislao Pañuni
  • Altitude: 1,500-1,750 m.a.s.l.
  • Varietal: Typica, Caturra and Catuai
  • Ripe cherry colour: Red and Yellow
  • Processing method: Washed
  • Washing: Mechanical
  • Fermentation: Dry fermentation for 16-18 hours
  • Drying: African beds for 7–8 days
  • Coordinates: 16°27′58″S 67°27′17″O