Nicely fruited coffee, balanced with cocoa powder, and honey sweetness. It's a slightly lower acid cup than our other Costas, but defined, and with a green-apple tartness. There are lots of sugar browning notes as well, and darker roasts verge on dark malt syrup. Pleasantly nutty, with flavors of hazelnut. This coffee packs hefty body too. City+ to Full City+.
This coffee, somewhat mysteriously designated "Nancy" is from the area of Llano Bonito de Naranjo, West Valley, Costa Rica. It comes from the Helsar de Zarcero mill, where all the coffee is processed from fruit to green bean form. We have a long relationship with the Helsar mill , which is located on the Santa Lucia farm site, going back 8 years now. I suppose the reason we turn to Helsar for coffee, and the reason the local farmers deliver their coffee fruit there: 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. 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. Helsar uses a machine-wash method to scrub the fruit layers from the parchment coffee, then sun dries most lots, with supplemental machine drying as well. The result is a style of coffee with great clarity in the cup flavors, like traditional wet-processing, but using much less water, and better recovery and re-use of the byproducts for composting: the skin and pulp of the fruit.
The dry fragrance of this Helsar lot is fruit forward, with a peach butter smell and slight hazelnut note. Dark roasts have baking spices and raisin. Wet aromatics continue this theme, along with berry sweetness and a near floral twist at more developed roast levels. The flavor profile of the cup is front loaded with fruit flavors that are balanced out by cocoa powder taste and mouthfeel, and a honey sweetness. It's a clean cupping Costa, and has a refreshing green apple like brightness - though still relatively lower acidity than our other Costa Rican coffees. Flavors of sugar browning shift throughout the cooling cup, and wind up somewhere in the realm of dark malt syrup. Chocolate notes are also prevalent, and layer from semi-sweet to more high % cacao. Add to this a body with heft, and you have one of our better options for a dual use Costa Rica. At Full City, espresso is so sweet, with tart raspberry and dark chocolate.