Asdrubal Chavez is a farmer in Llano Bonito de Naranjo, West Valley, Costa Rica. He has worked in tandem with the Helsar de Zarcero mill for a few years now to process his coffee, and we have a long relationship with the Helsar mill going back 8 years now. I suppose the reason we turn to Helsar for coffee, and the reason Asdrubal delivers his coffee fruit there are the same: They are excellent at processing coffee from fruit to dried pergamino to ready-to-export green coffee beans. Each year they refine their process, and under the guidance of Ricardo Perez Barrantes the recent improvements include more raised drying beds, more warehouse space to rest coffee (reposo) and new dry milling equipment.
The Asdrubal Chavez lot features a dry fragrance fruited with apple and melon, and a base hazelnut tone, turning toward Muscovado raw brown sugar in the darker roasts. Wet aromatics have the same sweet depth with some intriguing chocolate fudge notes, and pecan praline. It's the cup that matters most, and here the A. Chavez lot has the classic balance of brightness, sweetness and bittering components we look for in a clean Central American coffee flavor profile. There is toasted hazelnut, suggestions of dark berry, apple-like acidic snap, with a roasted malt finish. Darker roast levels feature an intensification of the cocoa component, high-percentage chocolate with dark blackberry notes. The finish has a cleanly-disappearing taste thanks largely to the brightness of the coffee, a dark caramel sweetness and a creamy mouthfeel. It is not a crazy, exotic coffee, but a sturdy, restrained, classic flavor profile that makes it infinitely drinkable.