This selection is from a single coffee farmer, Leonardo Rojas, who has all his coffee processed at the Helsar de Zarcero's mill. The mill is located in the West Valley region, not far from the town of Naranjo, and Leo's farm is nearby in the area called Llano Bonito de Naranjo. I have visited this farm during harvest, and we have a long buying relationship with the Helsar mill, over 8 years finding wonderful coffees from them. It is run by one of the nicest and most progressive persons in coffee, Ricardo Perez. They are consistently improving their processing, this past year adding more raised beds for drying the parchment coffee, additional warehouse space, and new sorting equipment. I noticed this coffee when cupping in Costa Rica for its clean, classic character. While there are many variations on processing being performed in Costa Rica now, it is the washed style coffees that give the quintessential flavor experience, balanced, restrained, clean taste, sweet finish. The vast majority of Leo's farm is planted in Caturra cultivar, though I have seen small amounts of other types when walking the farm. It is situated at 1600 meters.
The Leo Rojas lot has a pronounced cane sugar and from the dry fragrance, apple accent, taking on a chocolate brownie roast tone at more developed roast levels. Adding the hot water, the wet aromatics shift toward a banana fruit scent, and fresh cream sweetness, with the dark roast having molasses and caramelizing sugars as one might expect. The cup has a beautiful combination of fruited sweetness with chocolate bittering qualities. Less developed roast levels have a light malt syrup and almond base tone, with accents of apple juice and white grape. The finish of the lightest roast we did showed the drying aspect of almond skins, which is why we preferred the City+ to Full City levels, with further browning after 1st crack ends. These roasts had dark brown sugars and cinnamon stick through to the finish, baked apple, red berry, and chocolate almond bark. I wrote "delicious drinking coffee" which perhaps makes little sense, or all the sense in the world. That's what we want from Costa Rica coffee! Full City and Full City+ roasts are excellent espresso options, heavy bittersweet chocolate flavors that are propped up by a slight apple effervescence. Makes for an extremely viscous shot.