Costa Rica Helsar
Perfect For: Cafetiere / Filter / Espresso
Type: Origin / Speciality
Region: Costa Rica - Central America
Filter / Cafetiere: Praline with hints of Pecan Nut and a smooth Maple Syrup like back taste.
Espresso: Strong Praline flavour with caramelised sugar through the body and a pleasant Pecan Nut finish.
Helsar de Zarcero, Finca Santa Lucia
Harvested December - March
1500 – 1725m
For Filter / Cafetiere
18gm of coffee to 288ml of hot water 92 degrees.
Aroma Notes: Caramelised Sugar, with a hint of Chocolate.
Tasting Notes: Praline initially with hints of Pecan nut and a smooth Maple Syrup like back taste.
Tactile Note: A vibrant and well balanced cup of coffee, and great all day without being boring.
16gm of coffee to 32ml of hot water 93 degrees.
Aroma Notes: Praline Chocolate upfront with distinct hints of Pecan nuts.
Tasting Notes: Strong Praline flavour on the front of your palate, with caramelised sugar through the body and a pleasant Pecan nut finish.
Tactile Notes: Great sweetness, suitable for those who have a sweet tooth but don’t want to add sugar to their espresso. Great served through steamed milk as a cortado or flat white.
Ricardo Pérez Barrantes and brothers Marvin and Felipe Rodriguez established Helsar de Zarcero about 12 years ago. The mill began as a way for the three to process coffees from their own farms, and later evolved to become a service for other producers in the West Valley region to create their own micro lots. The micro mill is an essential part of increasing a producer’s access to quality development, the specialty market, and higher prices. A mill is also a huge investment for a small producer - not only does it take money to build, it requires a new skill set with a learning curve and risk. Helsar saw an opportunity to build the micro mill revolution and community in their area by offering a service to other producers growing great coffee, but lacked the means to create their own lots.
Helsar functions like a family. The group of about 40 producers is a tight network, but it’s not a coop. For the most part, each producer’s lots are processed separately so that they may create micro lots to sell to buyers that consist of their coffee alone. Scheduled days and times are allotted to each producer to bring cherry to the Helsar mill to be processed. Most of the coffee is fully washed, but Helsar is also experimenting with some honey processed coffees on drying beds, and a newly built facility for producing cascara - a fruit tea made from the pulp, or skin of the coffee cherry. (More to come on this later!)
Helsar de Zarcero family - Nereo Ramirez and Eliomar Lopez. He had already been farming coffee for more than a decade before working with Helsar, selling his unprocessed cherry to larger buyers for small differentials. During our first trip to Costa Rica almost five years ago, Nereo’s coffee stood out to us on the cupping table. The coffee always has great sweetness and balance - we think it’s a perfect everyday coffee without being boring (because who wants every day to be boring? We want our days to be in balance.)
Nereo, his wife Elida and other members of their family pick all the coffee themselves instead of hiring outside help. He grows almost all Villa Sarchi variety, which is a Bourbon mutation that originated in Costa Rica.
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