• Volcanes Azul MARSELLESAS

Costa Rica Volcan Azul Marsellesa

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Costa Rica Volcan Azul Marsellesa One Roast

Costa Rica Volcan Azul Marsellesa

A few years ago, a member of the team got some high-quality verbal abuse from an occasional retail customer. Their levels of frustration were evident, and it was just because we hadn’t kept “a nice (haha cry) Costa Rican Coffee in stock!”  It has occurred to me over the last few years that it’s not a race to use coffee up as soon as it hits our shores.  Admittedly there is that incentive, as we have paid for the coffee, and using it up has its benefits, but spreading out the time we use some coffees has benefits in terms of variety too. In a way the customer was right. 😉

I am a big fan of Alejo’s Coffee. They are always brilliantly processed and every delivery is better than the pre-shipment.

Top Trumps

Farmer: Alejo Castro

Farm Volcan Azul

Area: Alajuela, Costa Rica.

Established: 1850, 5th generation farm.

Hectares: 55

Altitude: 1540-1720 Meters above sea level


Process: Natural

Recipe: 60-65g per litre.

Roast: Medium Filter

Cup Potential:🥣

Aromatics:Brown Fruit sugars| Body: Creamy| Acidity: Sweet, Yellow Plum|

This is genius in a cup! Marsellesa is known as a high-acidity coffee varietal, which would turn a lot of people off. Because of natural processing, the acidity is delicate, shy, and sweet. Not boozy or funky though.

On opening, this is richly fruity with a surprisingly bright and clean, citric acidity. Within practically no time at all the acidity is replaced by body and the liquor becomes thick and sweet like a great sweet sherry. Deep dark chocolate mingles with brown sugars and a  building citric finish. Every revisit to the cupping bowl (on cooling) the coffee seems just that little bit sweeter and more delicate.

All of this talk about sugars and next to no calories.

Espresso Recipe:

In espresso, this was better than I could have hoped for.

16-18g of Coffee into 34-35g of espresso liquid in 25-30 seconds

9 oz Milk-based drink: In my cupping book, this is another “shouldn’t work” however with whole milk this is like creamy, rich hot chocolate. If you wanted more dryness, you could reduce the milk and go semi-skimmed.

6oz Milk-based drink: Hints of boozy brown fruits and a touch of citrus and brown fruits.


This is one of the occasions when you just follow our standard espresso recipe( 16-18g of coffee into 45g of espresso at 93-94C) it should be OK, but with a little tweaking, it gets so much better. The difference between 17g into 45g and 55-60g is magic. That 10 g of espresso liquid just adds so much sweetness it is as close as I think good espresso can get to the cupping bowl characteristics. To recap, I was using 17g of coffee into 55-60g of espresso liquid in 30 seconds. Because I was getting everything that I wanted, I didn’t feel a need to increase the brew temperature above that level.  Let me know how you get on, I would be interested to hear…and If you love it as much as I do I can feed it back to Alejo.

Farm Info:

Volcan Azul is a 5th-generation farm, producing many different single varietals and processes. The long game is the aim of quality, which we especially like at James Gourmet. The whole process is controlled by the farm and the operation is relatively small. These are all things that work for us. Coffee on a human scale with a history

This season Alejo’s SL28 anaerobic Natural was so popular. We had so much great feedback, which we sent to the right place, of course!

If you ever want to share your brews with us, you can always connect with us on instagram.

As always, we really hope you enjoy this coffee.

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