This lot is from a rather small farm owned by Magdalena Vega. She delivers all the coffee fruit to the nearby Santa Lucia farm where it is processed at the Helsar de Zarcero micromill. The vast majority of this finca is planted in Caturra cultivar, though there is Villasarchi variety also mixed in. (In truth, farms are rarely planted exclusively in one variety of coffee).
Magdalena inherited the farm from a larger plot shared between her seven brothers. It measures at less than five hectares and tops out near 1700 meters, producing about 10,000 pounds per year of exportable green coffee.
With each passing year there are more quality refinements to their process; with new drying beds, warehouse space, and dry mill equipment being added in the past season.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Costa Rica Helsar, from Sunergos Coffee in Louisville, Kentucky. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Llano Bonito, Naranjo, Alajuela, Costa Rica
farm: Magdalena Vega Farm
producer: Magdalena Vega
elevation: 1700 meters above sea level
cultivars: Caturra, Villasarchi
process: white honey process, patio dried
method: Kalita Wave
grind: 18, Preciso
coffee: 32 g
water: 500 mL
pour: 2:30 concentric pulse pour
The aroma of the Costa Rica Helsar is so sweet, so inviting, but so complex, too. Outstanding scents of creme brulee, brown sugar, lemon, and apple pie.
The first few sips of the cup immediately post-brew are absolutely wonderful. So sweetly delicious, but also possessing an intricate complexity. Creamy flavors of nougat, white chocolate, and honey coat the palate and a dusting of cane sugar and pecan kick up in the finish. All the while, fragrances of chamomile, ginger, and lemongrass flutter in over the top.
As the cup cools off, the coffee becomes incredibly juicy and fruity, with deep flavors of honey crisp apple, bing cherry, blackberry, and a zesty lemon acidity, ending with a long, complex dark chocolate bittersweetness.
Full body; juicy mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
Sunergos Coffee’s Costa Rica Helsar – Magdalena Vega is a really great coffee. Perfect for sipping slowly—one that’s sweet, interesting, complex, and dynamic; one that is restrained and not overtly showy.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.