Located in the pretty seaside town of North Berwick, 25 miles east of Edinburgh, Steampunk have been roasting coffee since 2012. Sourced from Coop Naranjo in the West Valley region of Costa Rica, this natural processed micro lot seems as good a place as any to start exploring Scotland’s specialty coffee scene.
Costa Rica can sometimes be an overlooked growing region, obscured by its flashier rival Guatemala and the smaller but more trendy El Salvador. What coffee growing and production in Costa Rica has going for it, however, is reliability. A well sourced, expertly roasted Costa Rica will bring balance and stability to your cup while still offering enough complexity to ensure things don’t get dull. The natural processing method tends to produce a deeper, fruitier coffee, and due to the increasing popularity of natural Costa Ricans, the quality is improving all the time.
The packaging is simple and clean, which is always appreciated. A basic white bag is sheathed in a cardboard jacket with Steampunk’s logo on the front and a brief blurb on the back. Coffee info is provided by a small card tucked into the jacket, informing the drinker of process, varietal and altitude. It’s a very understated and effective approach to presentation.
First impressions are positive. A subtle, cinnamon-sweet fragrance is an agreeable preamble to the main event. Grinding the beans, a smell not unlike hot buttered toast fills the air.
Brewed both by Chemex and Hario V60, the coffee comes across as rounded and slightly bright, with a pleasing strawberry fullness and a dry, winey finish.
As with many of the best Costa Ricans, there’s a harmony to the cup that is comforting, each element working in unison to support the whole. It holds up remarkably well, evolving as it cools to expose tobacco and orange blossom notes.
In all it’s a confident, somewhat unconventional and generally pleasant coffee, performing well through numerous brewing methods. While probably not for everyone due to the prevalence of fruity notes, it would still make a worthwhile addition to any home coffee lineup.
Region: Naranjo, West Valley
Varietal: Caturra, Villa Sarchi