Maria Elena Castro and son opened their micro mill, Beneficio Las Brisas, just this year after years of delivering their coffee cherry to Helsar de Zarcero and CoopeNaranjo. Maria Elena's farm, Finca Salaca, sits at 1750 masl in one of the more beautiful parts of Costa Rica, and Central America for that matter. The Pacific is the major influence in the West Valley with sprawling views of Naranjo and Alajuela readily available across it. Finca Salaca is planted almost entirely with the Villalobos varietal although some Caturra is mixed in with it as well. Villalobos is a varietal developed in Costa Rica from the Typica varietal. The West Valley was heavily seeded with the varietal in the 50's and 60's and a good portion still remains at these higher elevations. Maria Elena mechanically washes her coffee on a Desacafe machine and sun dries it on raised beds.This coffee is part of our Farm Gate pricing program.
Finca Salaca is a balanced coffee with just enough nuance to make it interesting. Dried apricot and toasted sugar melded well together in the dry fragrance of the City roast while we encountered aromatics like blackberry, baker's chocolate and fresh butter in the City+ roast. The crust on the City roast demonstrated beautiful dried cherry notes leaned more towards sugar browning flavors like caramel and toffee. Breaking the crust showed us more dried fruit character and cola nut. Crisp red apple and white grape are readily apparent in the City roast while those fruit flavors are developed into dark notes like blackberry at the City+ level. As the coffees cooled both roasts showed a creaminess in their texture and baker's chocolate in the finish. Cool, both roasts oddly reminded me of chocolate milk. Finca Salaca is an approachable coffee that does very well between both City and City+ roast profiles.
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