The Dota Valley sits in the heartland of what many people regard to be the the finest coffee growing region of Costa Rica, Tarrazu. Here the coffee grows in high altitudes on steep slopes in dense vegetation and the cherries mature a little slower than in lower altitudes. This slower development in cool mountain nights enhances acidity and cup characteristics making for stellar coffee when processed correctly. Santa Maria de Dota is the main town in the valley and is home to a number of award winning farms as well as several of the new innovative micro-mills that have sprung up in Costa Rica in recent years.
It is this innovation that led Artisan Roast to visiting Cesar Ureña and his brothers. While much of Tarrazu continued with the washed coffee processing that helped Costa Rica find fame in speciality coffee, Cesar and his brothers Martin and Edgar have led the innovation into natural processing in Tarrazu.
Their main drying area at Chumeca is a maze of well made and perfectly managed raised beds where meticulous sorting carries on through the whole day. Every inch of level ground is set aside for raised beds on hills which face south west, making the most of the mountain sun and crisp cool high altitude nights. Even before this drying starts the Ureñas have developed an ingenious way of using recirculated water and a two bucket process to clean expertly harvested cherries and remove floaters prior to drying. This works to manage coffee quality well within Costa Rica's excellent forward thinking laws on water management on micro-mills and set the foundations for consistent drying.
The Ureñas have a number of small farms scattered around the wider Tarrazu region and this micro-lot is a fruit laden natural process Red Catuaí from the familys La Trinidad. Red fruits including pomegranate and cranberry are followed by a undertones of prune. As the coffee cools the floral nature of the brew comes out with delicate flavours of violet and rose on the finish. A dense, rolling, silky and syrup like mouthfeel keeps the indulgent mood going and this is most noticeable when brewed as an espresso or aeropress.