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|Appearance||.2 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen|
|Roast Recommendations||Works at a wide range of roasts, City through Full City+. City+ roast has the best range of flavors. Melange experiments were rewarding too.|
Finca Bella Vista is an award winning farm in the area of Leon Cortez de Tarrazu. It has the honor of being top coffee in the 2009 Costa Rica Cup of Excellence. Bella Vista is part of a larger farm called La Loma with a lower, flatter section called La Ladera, then a rapidly inclining slope which is San Francisco, peaking at 1800 meters. Above this is Bella Vista, which includes the peak of this "mountain of coffee". In fact, when I walked the farm earier this year, the very top parts were still not ripe for picking. And in fact they plants looked less healthy as I drew near to the 2000 meter mark. (There is an inflection point where coffee produces less and is more susceptible to leaf fungus due to the cloud cover that persists at higher altitudes). It's a very high farm in any case. The exporter I was with turned to me and said, "We're way up there, bro." The farm is owned by the Bonilla-Solis family, as is the Don Mayo mill that is run by Hector and Pablo Bonilla. Like the other lot we have from the greater La Loma farm, it is ideal situation. The Bonillas own their own cherry production, and don't have to compete to buy the cherry against other local buyers, and can manage the quality from the tree through the picking and processing.
Bella Vista has a wonderful dry fragrance from the ground coffee; honey-toffee sweetness, touched by juicy plum fruit notes. The wet aromatics have almond praline, caramel, and fig spread on toast. The cup has a striking brightness, rindy citrus and quince fruit, a date sugar sweetness, and red apple notes in the lighter roast levels (City to City+ roast). Darker roasts have a black currant jam note, and the same red apple of the light roasts emerges as the cup cools, finishing with a touch of apple skin tightness. The cup cools with some Earl Grey tea-like qualities of bergamont, and a touch of jasmine. City+ roast seems ideal, although a melange blend I did of 1/3 City roast, 2/3 Full City was rather astounding in complexity, seeming to flesh out dimension in the cup that was unseen in the straight roasts.