This selection is from a single coffee farmer, Se±or 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 Se±or Rojas lot has a pronounced cane sugar and dried apple sweetness from the dry fragrance, taking on a chocolate brownie roast accent with a more developed roast level. Adding the hot water, the wet grounds echo cookie-like aromatics, dark chocolate brownie mix, with fresh cream sweetness, and walnut accent note. City+ to Full City roasting brew up nicely, a combination of dark chocolate syrup and burned sugar flavors offering balanced bittersweetness. Less developed roast levels have a light malt syrup and almond base tone, but not quite the sweetness I'm looking for. As the cup cools in temperature, a flavor of chocolate brownie with walnuts comes up, with a subtle lemon zest accent. The finish of the lightest roast we did has the drying aspect of almond skins, which is another reason we preferred the City+ to Full City levels, with further browning after 1st crack ends. These roasts had dark brown sugars and cinnamon stick, green apple, 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!