Costa Rica El Le贸n De Heredia

In Costa Rica there are very few families with a history in coffee that dates back over a century to the 1880鈥檚, when Costa Rica鈥檚 independence from Spain was still evolving and coffee exports were driving the nation towards a coffee-focused future. During the late 1880鈥檚, El Leon de Heredia鈥檚 coffee growing operations were first established by Patrocinio Hernandez Barquero, the great grandfather of current owner and chief operator, Carlos Le贸n Villalobos, in the Santiago province of Heredia on a plot of land he named, El Oto帽o. Patrocinio passed away in 1928 but not before transferring his extensive knowledge of coffee growing, milling techniques and trade secrets to his son in law, Juan Le贸n Villalobos. Still to this day, El Oto帽o produces and mills its own coffee on location, branding each bag with 鈥淛LV鈥 in honor of Juan and the family legacy.

Many factors contribute to making the El Leon de Heredia a truly special coffee 鈥 the history of the family farm is certainly quite significant in this regard. The 20th century chapter of the Villalobos family is largely shaped by the decision of Juan, his brother-in-law, Daniel and widowed mother-in-law, Juana Valerio de Hernandez assuming a shared management of operations in the early 1930鈥檚, following the passing of the family patriarch Patrocinio. The decision was made to established another family run mill, La Rosa, which was first located near downtown Heredia and later relocated a few kilometers north to Santa Luc铆a de Barva in 1972. During those four decades, their coffee was dubbed the 鈥淛LV SI Especial鈥 (best of the best!) Juan passed away in 1983, leaving the family鈥檚 incredible legacy to his son, Humberto, father of current owner, Carlos.

When Humberto passed in 2002, Carlos assumed the role of his forefathers, setting forth down the provincial path before him, and like any good and hard working caretaker he does so with love, honor and great passion for both coffee and ancestors alike.

The El Leon de Heredia coffee farm is located at an altitude of 4,000 feet (1350m) in the San Isidro de Heredia region, whose soil is rich with minerals from the nearby volcanoes of Barva, Irazu and Poas. These minerals act as natural fertilizers, helping to impart the special flavor and cup characteristics. Additional fertilizers improve bean size and characteristics as well as overall cup profile, acidity and aroma. At harvest only 100% properly ripened cherries are gathered and sorted by hand; a decades old method from the days before sorting machines that guarantees the best quality. At the family mill, traditional artisan milling techniques that have been handed down through the family for generations; no large industrial process is used in the milling or drying stages. Following the pulping, the beans are fermented in tanks for approximately 36 hours and then washed again with clear, pure water. The beans are 100% sun dried which also helps preserve bean character and profile; it also gives them their unique and beautiful blue-green color.

Cupping Notes: Medium body, good acidity. Slight hints of tangerine, sugar cane and honey.
Producer: Carlos Le贸n
Region: San Isidro de Heredia
Variety: Caturra
Processing: Washed & Sun Dried
Altitude: 4,000 ft (1350m)
Coffee Grading: Microlot
Harvest: Oct - Feb