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Costa Rica El Patio COE #20

September 23, 2007

This will be a combined review, both of us having received samples. For a description of Bob and Jim's evaluation procedure, see our reference page.

El Patio is a tiny 3 hectare farm in the Heredia region. It was a working Beneficio (coffee mill) 35 years ago, and was revived last year by Maria Camacho Morales, the granddaughter of the past owners. Her hard work has been met by success, since this lot from the first crop took 20th place at the Cup of Excellence this year. It is a Caturra and Catuai blend and pulp-dry processed to produce a sweeter, heavier bodied cup.

Bob's Review:
This fine coffee was hidden among the 25 winners and it stood out among the samples I cupped. I bought some for our Coop and Paradise Roasters jumped on it as well. Actually we were fortunate that it placed #20 because it was one of the lowest priced coffees in the competition - a true bargain!

The international jury's cupping notes can be summarized as sweet spices, floral, chocolate, berry-like, caramel, black currant notes, oaked wine texture, melon finish...etc.

I can only add the following: This is an ideal "house coffee". It will please, any time of day and delight the guests. I have found that often, Costa Rican coffees are highly acidic and sometimes out of balance. This one has perfect balance and is sweet, mild and ultra clean. The international jury gave it an 85.13. I thought it was worth more than that.

Roasted light, it has good floral aromatics, toasty, nutty, spicy flavors, medium body and a medium-long finish. A darker roast brings out chocolate in abundance. My favorite drink for this coffee was as a cappa - rich and deep.

Jim's Review:
Is there such a thing as a great table wine? Table wines get no respect; after all, they are plain wines meant to accompany food, and not draw undue attention to themselves. But suppose you had a table wine, and could say to yourself you'd be happy to get this one for the rest of your life every time you had a certain dish. That would be a great table wine.

The El Patio is a great table coffee. In particular, if I could have it for the rest of my life with my pancake breakfasts, I'd be perfectly content. It is a soft classic cup with mild apple and pear flavors on top, almond, brown sugar, vanilla and dutch chocolate underneath. There's this great 1950s breakfast place nearby that serves baked apple pancakes. Every time I tried the El Patio, I felt like asking them if they had a "bring your own coffee" policy.

The pulp natural processing works beautifully for this coffee. It has the added sweetness and mild acidity; and there is no hint of ferment.

This coffee makes a nice almondy, and chocolaty at darker roasts, cappa, and is good with milk. It is however non-descript as a straight shot.


Bobs Score
Dry Fragrance: 4.4
Wet Aroma: 4.3
Flavor: 7.7
Finish: 7.5
Acidity: 7.5
Body: 7.4
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 88.8

Jim's Score

Dry fragrance: 3.5
Wet Aroma: 3.25
Flavor: 8.0
Finish: 8.0
Acidity: 7.0
Body: 7.5
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 87.25

  • Lighter Roasts: Pear, apple and almond flavors.
  • Darker Roasts: Vanilla, dutch chocolate, molasses.
  • As Espresso: Non-descript shot, very nice almond, chocolate cappa.


UPDATED: September 25, 2007