The Torres family grows 90% Villalobos, with a small percentage of Caturra scattered throughout their farm. The Villalobos is not necessarily superior to others, but it is unique and makes the coffee distinctive, particularly due to its round, balanced, and juicy acidity.
The Torres brothers strongly believe in “raspa” (a way to manually cut down weeds, using a machete), re-planting, and sometimes, even picking. When I first visited the Torres farm in 2012, I was impressed to see five of the brothers pruning and working hard. The farm was so well-tended and loved. Alvaro Torres and I started discussing how we could work together for the 2013/14 harvest and produce an incredible version of the Torres coffee.
Since 2014, we have worked with the Torres family to pay them a premium for improved cherry selection. Of course, the coffee will only show its true potential if the processing at Helsar was done well, so this has been our priority since we started working with the Torres family.
Helsar is arguably the best coffee mill in Costa Rica and is owned and operated by one of the nicest and most genuine people we have ever met: Ricardo Perez. We have been working with Ricardo since 2010, and every year our friendship has grown. Since 2013 and 2014, we have worked with Ricardo to develop new drying protocols at Helsar aimed at improving quality and shelf life. The coffee has not disappointed. It continues to cup extremely well every stage of the way — starting in Costa Rica, to now.
This green coffee was immediately frozen on arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.