Gillio Francesa Ferraro is a character. He has aristocratic airs, and a bit of impatience that goes with his advanced years. But in his daily work as coffee producer, benefactor of a children's camp for orphans, and mad inventor, he looks like a guy in a lab coat who just rolled out from under his '64 Willys Jeep, after fixing a CV Joint. His mill is Guadalupe and is farm is called El Espino, the Spine(!), because of how it is positioned along the mountain ridge, the spine of the hills. While he isn't the youngest among the Costa Rica small farmers who have embrace the Micro-Mill movement, he certainly keeps pace with them (he was the elder statesman on their whirlwind tour of coffee roasteries this past August). And his coffees are top notch as well, Caturra cultivar planted at 1800 meters in the West Valley area of Zarcero. They have an exotic Costa Rica character, with nut-to-chocolate roast taste and laced with ripe, clean fruited notes, and unique scents of eucalyptus, sage, and campfire. This coffee really stood out for me at a cupping we did in San Jose, Costa Rica last March. I found really sweet aromatics, balanced and very attractive, yet something quite wild and rustic about the cup. Whenever I face the unexpected and unusual flavors, I ask myself the 2 basic questions about coffee: Is it clean? Is it sweet? To both I would answer yes to El Espino, and so I heartily endorse this lot. Keeping the roast around City+, there is an almondy nut aromatic, sage-like floral scent, mint, a mild foresty note. I think I prefer a darker roast though. Full City to Full City+ lent itself to great milk chocolate flavors, intensity, body. Darker roasts have a sweet molasses note on the break. The cup has a very caramelly sweetness, with milk chocolate accent throughout the roast range. It's heavily fruited with pear, apple and some banana (and a slight banana skin dryness in the finish). There are herbal flavors, a bit of lavender flower, and a very dense, almost gritty body, which highlights it's rather powerful demeanor overall. There is a more rounded, less prickly or acidic character that one might expect from coffee grown at such high altitudes as El Espino.