Country: Costa Rica
Processing: Golden Honey
Cupping Score: 89
SL-28 isn’t common in Latin America, making this Golden Honey lot particularly special and a unique opportunity to experience the influence that terroir has on this varietal.
Carlos Barrantes’ family has owned and operated the Herbazu micromill since the early 2000s. With a desire to focus more on producing unique, quality coffees, Carlos decided to set out independently, and now owns five small farms and the La Perla Del Cafe micromill with his wife, Diana. A small production of only 300 bags per year allow the Barrantes to dedicate their efforts to producing quality coffees with meticulous attention to detail. They even work with the exact same pickers every year – a group of 45 indigenous people from Panama who travel to the farms every harvest season, and with whom the Barrantes’ keep in touch, like family, the rest of the year.
The mill produces mostly honey and natural coffees. Carlos likes to experiment with different varietals, currently growing Gesha, Villa Lobos, Typica, Villa Sarchi and SL-28. This particular lot is an SL-28 varietal, of which Carlos was the first producer in Costa Rica. Native to Tanganyika (now Tanzania), and related to Bourbon, SL-28 was selected from a single tree by Scott Laboratories in 1935. Highlighted for its drought resistance, the SL-28 was considered the prize varietal of the 1935-1939 intensive breeding by Scott Laboratories. It is now one of the main varietals grown throughout Africa and valued for its high cup quality despite its susceptibility to major diseases.