Costa Rica Tarrazu "Sangre de Toro"

Sangre de Toro means blood of the bull, the color of very ripe coffee cherry. Expect melted butter mouthfeel, ripe lemon, tangerine, soft acidity, apple fruit tones, brown sugar sweetness and a hazelnut finish. It's a compact and well-structured flavor profile. City to Full City roast level.
Out of stock
90.5
  • Process Method No
  • Farm Gate Yes
Region Central America
Farm Gate Yes
Grade SHB
Appearance .0 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen
Roast Recommendations City roast is stunning, without any grainy light roast notes. City+ is more malic. FC+ has great cocoa notes, but tastes like a more standard coffee than this truly is. So I would keep it lighter...
Weight 1
Sangre de Toro means "Bull's blood" and it describes very, very ripe coffee cherry. I have heard this crimson-colored level of ripeness referred to as Sangre de Toro in several countries, so when I mentioned it the Calderons, a producer we work with in Santa Maria de Dota area of Tarrazu, they knew exactly what I was talking about. The idea was to create a very small lot from on of their high elevation plots near the beneficio selected from only blood-red coffee cherry. With this lot, I asked if we could pay the coffee pickers extra to re-sort their coffee fruit. In other words, they usually come to the mill and simply deposit them in the hopper, so varying levels of ripeness are pulped and processed together. But I wanted to find out what would happen if they did as they do in Kenya; have pickers lay out the cherry and resort it so that only these Sangre de Toro fruits were included in the lot. What I anticipated was a slightly winey fruit character perhaps with a slightly milder acidity, a more rounded flavor profile, perhaps with a bit less bracing brightness and structure, but great depth and mild fruit tones. I guess that's just my experience with really ripe coffee cherry. With the added labor to hand sort the coffee cherry and careful processing we paid the highest price for this lot of any Costa Rica coffee, but it is well worth it we think. I am proud of this lot because it was instigated on the farm, and something truly unique to Sweet Maria's.
The ripeness of the coffee cherry is definitely brought to bear in the aromas and cup flavors of the Sangre de Toro lot. From light to dark roast levels, the dry fragrance has soft chocolate tones, with vanilla and fruit traces. It is in the wet aroma that indications of cup flavor reveal themselves; plum, apple, cinnamon bark, melted butter and caramel sauce emerge. I was really amazed at how different my test roast levels were in the cup, and each excellent in their own regard. The lightest roast came through with the buttery mouthfeel and sweet flavor, ripe lemon and tangerine fruit notes (a soft acidity paired with these flavors, not puckering). It finishes silky and super sweet. At City+ the cup has more malic acidity and apple fruit tones, a light brown sugar sweetness as sucrose develops with the roast, hazelnut in the finish and a very lush mouthfeel. I roasted my third sample toward 2nd crack (without entering it at all), Full City+. This had an aggressive roast chocolate flavor, rounded dark cocoa sweetness in the finish, buttery mouthfeel, plum fruit notes. It's a rounded flavor profile, well-structured but nothing outrageous; yet as it cools it becomes more and more convincing of it's intrinsic qualities. I don't get the winey fruit I anticipate from this project, but I can't be more pleased with the cupping results. The rounded and well integrated brightness would lead me to believe that other coffees, some containing less ripe cherries, contribute to a "false acidity" in the coffee, a brightness due to slight levels of astringency and not from true, positive acidic brightness.