My father got me some Procrastination cards for Christmas, perfect for puting off thank you notes and nicely serving as a reminder that I never did write about Barismo’s Costa Rica Helsar de Zarcero, which I purchased and consumed last August. I liked this coffee a lot, but I’ll try not to rave too much. I recently noticed that Barismo has sadly moved it to their retired list.
What I will tell you, in case this coffee does crop up again, is that it’s well worth pursuing, especially if you’re looking for that perfect “gateway” coffee. The reason I purchased it was due to a conversation I had with Barismo owner, Jaime Van Schyndel, about coffees from his line up most likely to please folks not used to Barismo’s lighter roasting style. Finding these gateway coffees, I’ve found, is the key to winning over friends drinking over-roasted coffees. In this case, one of the friends we were staying with in Maine is an adventurous coffee drinker and would probably have been game for anything. Her spouse, however, has been known to rave about percolator-brewed, pre-ground, kona blend coffee from T.J. Maxx (we still love him).
In fact, this coffee exceeded expectations for a gateway coffee since it not only wowed my friends, but myself as well. My tasting notes included: chocolate, roasted nuts and cherries. It was a lush, full-bodied coffee with just enough brightness to lighten up the rich creaminess and keep it from turning too heavy. Being that we were away from home, I didn’t have a ton of brewing options, but what seemed to work best was a highly complicated combination of my two available choices (baring the electric coffee maker, of course). I steeped the coffee in my French Press prior to straining it through a Chemex filter which was seated inside a V60 cone. A Clever Coffee Dripper would have done the same thing. If only one had been handy.
I suppose the silver lining is the 2009 is now coming to a close a whole new year of coffee crops will be coming our way. Here’s looking towards a new year, then when you might once again be able to get this lovely coffee.