Helsar: M. Arce
Producer // Manuel “Macho” Arce
Country // Costa Rica
Region // Zarcero, West Valley
Cultivar // Caturra
Process // Wet-Process
Elevation // 1600 Meters
Harvest // November-March
Tasting Notes // Plum, Golden Raisin, Clean
Cup Characteristics: Supple, juicy and bright like a perfectly ripe plum, this coffee nails it on the head. The body is chewy like dried fruit, particularly golden raisins and the finish is impeccably clean.
Sourcing Information: Manuel “Macho” Arce’s farm in Llano Bonito is filled with experimentation and incredibly kept up coffee trees.
Over coffee brewed by his wife, we talked about the effects climate change has had on the area and on his plants. Across the entire world, farmers are all experiencing effects of climate change, but across the world, those effects are different. Arce has noticed that the trees that used to have a high yield are now seeing smaller numbers, and that usual preventative maintenance against rust and other airborne pathogens is no longer cutting it.
Arce, however, hasn’t let these changes rule the roost. He has taken the time to adapt and use his knowledge of his farm and its particulars to make up for the unavoidable shifts in the climate. This past year he has started growing a cultivar he calls “Criollo” which translates to “native.” This variety is a form of Typica. These new plants might be difficult to grow, but the resulting cup will surely be worth it.
This coffee was processed at the famed Helsar de Zarcero mill run by Ricardo Perez and brothers Marvin and Felipe Rodriguez. Their equipment and facility are known for processing stunning microlots from small farmers throughout the West Valley.