This is a microlot is processed at Helsar del Zarcero mill, but is not a blended mill lot. It is from the farm of one producer, Hernan Solis, and is entirely one varietal of coffee, Villa Sarchi. Villa Sarchi cultivar is a natural offspring of the old Bourbon type coffee, adapted to the climate of Costa Rica and the Naranjo area in particular. Hernan's farm is at 1600-1700 meters in a zone called Llano Bonito de Naranjo. The significance of the Helsar mill handling all Hernan's coffee is key to the cup quality as well. You can grow great coffee from a great varietal at great altitude, then ruin it completely in the wet-process or drying. Helsar is a farmer-owned mill that has produced great coffee every year we have worked with them, and has continued to invest in their neighbors coffees as well by building more capacity to process small lots separately. We ship this coffee at the peak of the season, and cellar it at the warehouse to offer later. That used to be difficult because coffee would take on a baggy jute flavor and lose moisture content while sitting. But we export this coffee with a special impermeable GrainPro liner under the jute, and I think it actually improves during storage here in our mild Bay Area climate. The care put into this coffee at all stages is proven out by the taste. It's a bright cup and also possesses nice body and balance. It's a screamer, a high-pitched coffee at City roast, but quite balanced at Full City roast level. It is versatile. Any roast style you chose seems to work well with this lot: I am getting great results from City to Full City+ to Light French.
The dry fragrance has a lot of milk chocolate and raisin sweetness at Full City roast, with a zest of citrus at lighter levels. In the wet aromatics, there is the scent of fresh-baked sweet brown bread with a little bit of roasted hazelnut. City+ roast has the best aromatics, with complex hints of citrus flower, hibiscus and plum. There is an intriguing winey fruited note in the aroma as well. The cup is outstanding: There are grace notes of peach tea, plum, citrus, a little lemon rind, and plum (at FC roast). Light roasts have a more almond-hazelnut roast tone, fading to tangy and crisp chocolate flavor in the finish. It changes quite a bit as the temperature drops, and stone fruit flavors come out. The cup character is very balanced in body and brightness at darker roast levels. The body isn't that heavy, but has a very syrupy quality. My lightest roasts, City level, tasted fairly thin but had a great zesty brightness. I suggest City+ roast for the best cup, a marriage of brightness and sweet cup flavors. I really like Hernan's coffee every year, but I think this crop in particular is phenomenal!