Today’s review came to me through Instagram and it’s Bella Teresa, a Costa Rican coffee from Gusto Cafe Boutique. It was roasted on contract by Exo Roast Company. You can buy this coffee from Gusto for $18.50/bag as either a “medium” or “espresso” roast. My sample from Gusto was the medium roast, although I found that it makes a pretty good shot, too!
According to Gusto’s website, the company got its start when, in 2013, former cafe owners from Arizona, Jim and Jana Cook, uprooted and moved to Costa Rica. It didn’t take long for them to live in this mecca of coffee before, along with their daughter, Jenna, they founded Gusto. As far as I can tell, the Cook gang work directly with Costa Rican growers to source coffees that they export back to the United States, where it is contract roasted in Arizona by Exo.
This particular coffee is their Bella Teresa, grown on the farm of the same name by Juan Urias. Bella Teresa is found in the West Valley region of Costa Rica at 1550masl. The varietals in this bag probably included caturra, catuai and villa sarchi and this is a washed and sun-dried coffee. Gusto’s tasting notes include bittersweet chocolate, grapefruit and molasses.
When I opened this bag I was greeted by a relatively dark bean, but there was little, if any, oil coming to the surface and the roast looked even and consistent. Words like “medium” and “dark” are pretty arbitrary when it comes to coffee, but this leaned toward dark for me and seemed darker than a medium roast to me. That being said, the coffee was pleasant to drink, so that’s what matters to me!
After brewing in the Gino (15:1 ratio, 4:00 total brew time) pourover I was greeted by aromas of milk chocolate and nuts and I found these to be the dominant flavors for this coffee, too. There was very little perceived acidity in this coffee for me and it had a relatively light body with a tiny bit of ash in the finish.
I feel like I’ve been tasting coconut in a lot of the American (as in Central and South) coffees I’ve been drinking lately, so maybe there’s something wrong with me, but again, there was some coconut tones in this coffee, in addition to sweet milk chocolate and toasted nuts in the cup. I was busy doing some typing while I was drinking and taking notes on this coffee and my cup cooled to room temperature before I knew it. When I came back to the coffee, which was cold by now, it was a lot like drinking chocolate milk! I can imagine that this coffee makes a nice cold brew, although I didn’t try that, and would be fantastic with milk and sugar (but what coffee isn’t?!
This would be an easy coffee to make a daily drinker. It’s low perceived acidity means it would do well in a variety of brew methods, probably including a standard coffee maker that you can find in most American households, and the flavor profile is appealing. It’s not complex, or overly exciting, but it’s a solid drinker and I liked this coffee nonetheless.
I brewed it up as an espresso shot and found nice bittersweet chocolate and cherry tones in it. A solid traditional espresso shot, in my opinion!
I had an AeroPress of the Bella Teresa on my way to work one morning along with a chocolate-covered protein bar I had to throw down in a pinch and the pairing was delicious, so if you’re a carb/donut-and-coffee fan I’ll bet you would love this coffee!