Coffee Profile - Costa Rica, Hellen Mora, Natural Anaerobic

Hellen has been one of our favourite producers since we first received samples from our importer Nico in 2021! Upon cupping her coffees, I immediately called Nico, called him a crazy bastard and asked him to give us the coffee!

Fast forward to March 2023, driving the most treacherous route we'd encountered on the most treacherous drive of the entire trip (last farm of 12 visited)! At some point the roads turned to dirt tracks, with sheer drops way too close for comfort. But some of the most beautiful views with it! Leon Cortez is one of the 3 Cantons of the Tarrazu region, the most famous coffee growing region in Costa Rica. In comparison to Dota and Tarrazu though, Leon Cortez feels wilder, more untouched by the larger coffee cooperatives in the other Cantons. 

Arriving at Hellen's "Agropecuaria Hellen," named after her by her father, William, who founded the station in its current form in 2015, it was clear we had arrived somewhere special! 

We were greeted warmly by Hellen, William and her family and were treated to coffee and snacks in their kitchen before cupping the harvest, some of which was only a couple of days off of the drying beds. 

From the cupping, it was clear that the Lote B anaerobic natural Caturra varietal from the La Lupa farm was going to be our coffee this year. Having previously bought the natural Caturra from her El Cuzuco (anteater) farm the previous 2 years. we were stunned by the diverse and complex flavour profile it has! It is a coffee that changes character as wildly and beautifully as its origin as it cools. Whilst warm it is tropical and vibrant with more than a subtle hint of grape soda! As it cools it sweetens and leaves lingering butterscotch and milk chocolate sweetness, becoming plummy and rich. It's a banger for sure!!!

After the cupping we visited some her farmland, where the clouds dramatically fell, leaving us in a haze of Gesha trees the various other crops that grow amongst the coffee. 50% of the 45 hectares of farm land they have are left to nature, with sweet lemon trees, avocado, plantain and various types of banana growing on the land. It truly feels like paradise and sweet lemons are crazy! All of the aromatics of lemon, but without the acidity!

Thank you Hellen, you are our hero!!! And thanks to Nico at Planting Costa Rica for introducing us to her and making it possible for us to have this beautiful coffee every year!

All photos ©Cafe Bla 2023