Willoughby's Coffee & Tea

Costa Rica La Frente Cerro Verde Black Honey Microlot

Location: Branford, Connecticut

Origin: Tarrazu growing region, Costa Rica

Roast: Medium-Light

Est. Price: $18.99/16 ounces

Review Date: August 2016

Agtron: 56/81

Aroma: 9

Acidity: 9

Body: 8

Flavor: 9

Aftertaste: 8

Blind Assessment:

Delicate, rich, deeply sweet. White peach, honeysuckle, roasted cacao nib, myrrh, pink peppercorn in aroma and cup. Lyric, luxurious acidity; velvety mouthfeel. The richly drying finish leads with spice-toned cocoa in the short; the myrrh and pink peppercorn linger in the long.


Produced entirely of the Catuai variety of Arabica at the Cerro Verde micromill and processed by the black honey method. With all honey processing methods, some sweet pulp or fruit flesh (“honey”) is allowed to adhere to the beans during drying. In the black honey variation, the beans are subjected to a slower drying process than is the case with yellow or red honey processing. This coffee tied for the top rating in a cupping of honey-processed coffees for Coffee Review‘s August 2016 tasting report. Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea is a pioneer specialty coffee roaster established in the early 1980s that has gracefully and successfully moved with the times and now offers a menu of extremely refined small-lot, single-origin coffees. Visit www.willoughbyscoffee.com or call 800-388-8400 for more information.

The Bottom Line: Among the few black-honey-processed coffees we see in any given year, this Costa Rica stands out for its delicate but rich, spice-inflected sweetness.

This review originally appeared in the August, 2016 tasting report: Honey-Processed Coffees: Quiet Adventure

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