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Helsar De Zarcero Torrez
Melon · Green Apple · Agave
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While we call out an intense melon sweetness, from hot to cold, this coffee is transformative. Notes move between dense cantaloupe sweetness to light, sweet, and tangy flavors similar to canary melons. The clean malic acidity reminiscent of green apple is another reason to love this year’s offering from the Torrez family.
Like a lot of coffee from Costa Rica, Helsar De Zarcero Torrez is exceptionally versatile. We feel our recipe hits the “sweet” spot, but if you prefer a more dense flavor profile, bump the coffee up to 20 grams and keep the water the same. If you want to highlight that crisp green apple and light agave sweetness, bring the water up to 300 grams but keep the coffee the same. However you approach it, you can’t lose.
The Torrez Family
Zarcero, West Valley
Years of Purchase
Melon, Green Apple, Agave
Coffee: 18 grams
Water: 285 grams
Total Brew Time: 2:30 minutes
One of the original micro-mill revolutionaries, Ricardo Perez—along with his business partners, brothers Marvin and Felipe Rodriguez—erected the famed Helsar de Zarcero, initially to mill their farms’ coffees. It wasn’t long before neighboring small farmers sought out Perez’s dedication to quality and transparency. To this day, Helsar’s equipment and facility are known for processing stunning micro-lots from small farmers throughout the West Valley.
Thanks to farmers like Ricardo and their drive to produce great coffee and earn better, quality-based premiums, the micro-mill revolution came to fruition. This revolution was made possible only with maximum transparency and the introduction of small-scale, resource-efficient processing equipment. Thanks to this processing equipment—in Helsar’s case, the Colombian-made Penagos Ecopulper—milled coffees use a fraction (1/6th, to be exact) of the water traditional wet-process methods demand. As such, the “white-honey” process that this lot underwent—leveraging the Penagos’ “cheese-grater”-like demucilager—results in the crisp clarity and beaming acidity found in this cup.
This lot comprises the rare Villalobos variety—known only to this region of Costa Rica—cultivated by the dynamic team of nine 3rd-generation-farmer Torrez siblings.
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