The cup has a bright citric acidity and balance. The light roast has vanilla and refined sugar with orange and lemon notes. Darker roasts have caramel and vanilla, mahogany-toned sweetness and a little rummy. City+ to Full City.
This is a lot from the farm of Manuel "Macho" Arce in the West Valley area of Zarcero, close to Naranjo town. I had noticed this coffee when cupping in Costa Rica years ago, distinct for its clean, classic origin character. It's mostly Caturra cultivar, and has the zesty brightness and citrus accents that exemplify this varietal at it's best. I remember Tarrazu lots from 10 years ago sometimes cupping like this, a classic bright coffee, but the Arce farm is from the West Valley area. I have been to this farm a few times; Manuel Arce goes by the name "Macho" even though he seems quiet and thoughtful. His old Land Rover pickup is a bit macho, but hey ... it's a real farm truck. In the past this coffee was sold to blend with general mill lots, but it's a quality that deserves it's own spotlight. It is processed at the Helsar de Zarcero mill, which is consistently turning out some of the best coffees from this area of Costa Rica.
The dry fragrance has a praline sweetness; maple syrup and pecan nut, and panela sugar cake in the darker roasts. The wet aroma has a brown sugar sweet scent with candy-like fruit accent, pineapple in the light roasts. The cup has a bright citric acidity and balance as well. The light roast has vanilla and refined sugar sweetness with orange and lemon notes. Darker roasts have caramel and vanilla, and are a little rummy. The aftertaste has suggestions of vanilla and hazelnut re-emerging, along with a lingering citrus tang. It's a bright, lively cup, not overly complex, but very refreshing (if a hot beverage can be characterized as refreshing). In darker roasts, the fruits taste more mature and ripe, the brightness has a nice tonality to it. I really like the way the darker roast level has a mahogany-toned sweetness, persistent and not overtaken with carbony tones. And I was a little surprised by the nice, viscous body when I first hit the cups... it's more than expected from wet-process type Costa Rica coffees. I am not calling it heavy body, but simply a nice thick quality to it, for a Central. I preferred the City+ and Full City roasts to the very light City level.