Villa Triunfo H3, Red honey - west valley, costa rica

Quick Facts

Producer: Villa Triunfo Farm, Pitalillo Wet Mill, Sustainable Management Services (SMS/ECOM)

Country: Costa Rica

Region: Naranjo, West Valley

Elevation: 1,400 MASL

Variety: H3, (Caturra x Ethiopian "E531")

Process: Red Honey

Harvest: November - February


Finca Villa Triunfo is located in the upper part of Naranjo with a nice view of the Central Valley of Costa Rica. It has volcanic soils, a cool climate and cold temperatures during the night which provide perfect growing conditions for coffee.

ECOM and CIRAD created H3 aiming for greater productivity, better cup, and disease resistance. H3 is a cross between Caturra and an Ethiopian "heirloom" landrace labeled "E531" in CATIE's collection. This varietal was part of the first wave of hybrids created through a collaboration between the French research institute CIRAD, CATIE, PROMECAFE and ECOM. Interestingly, H3 was not part of the final round of selection from this project in 2000 because it showed some susceptibility to leaf rust. Fortunately, many producers who where part of the trials recognized H3 as having superior cup quality and opted to continue to cultivate the plant.

Flavor Notes

Tropical Fruit, Berries, Plum

This coffee displays how post-harvest and longer contact time between seed and fruit can change the flavor profile of a coffee. H3, being a cross of Caturra and Ethiopian varietals is typically very bright, and citric in the cup. However the tropical fruit and deep red fruit sweetness of this coffee show how the long, slow fermentation and drying of a honey can impart on and manipulate flavor profile.

Through proper care of the plant, true terroir flavors can be expressed more clearly through the actual pulp of the coffee cherry. Sometimes these flavors do not make it to our cups when processing a fully washed coffee and can be over powering when processed as a natural.

With this lot of coffee we believe that the deeper, more saturated tropical and red fruit tones are brought to the cup through an expression of the actual coffee cherry. These flavors would not be as clearly defined if processed as a washed coffee since there is limited contact time between fruit and seed before being washed clean. If this coffee was processed in the natural method, there would have been a high likelihood of process/fruit flavors overwhelming the H3 characteristics possibly turning into an edgy-ferment fruited coffee.

With these concepts in mind, we believe that SMS made the perfect decision to process in the Red Honey method. This allowed many of the fruit flavors to penetrate the cup, while still allowing the acidity of the H3 varietal to add buoyancy and keep the flavor profile lively.

Processing Information

Red Honey

This coffee was produced in the Red Honey method which leaves some residual mucilage on the seed prior to drying. After drying, the parchment coffee appears red in color resulting in the “Red Honey” distinction. With this process, a bit of the coffee fruit flavors make their way into the cup as well.

Regional Information

Naranjo, West Valley

This area was originally named Los Naranjos by Judas Tado Corrales Saenz in 1833 when he found an abundance of orange (naranjo) trees growing in the middle of the forest. Years later in 1887 when Costa Rica adopted the canton system (provinces subdivided into “cantons”) the region was officially named Naranjo.

Since its discovery, the area has always played an important role in agricultural cultivation; originally for oranges, and currently for coffee. In present day, the Naranjo region could be considered one of the best and most important growing regions for quality coffee in Costa Rica due to its record in award-winning coffees.

Over the past few years, Naranjo can now boast the highest concentration of Cup of Excellence award winning farms in all of Costa Rica, with four farms being within a one kilometer distance from each other.

The coffee areas of Naranjo focus on an area ranging from 1,200 to 1,500 meters above sea level. It is this unique strip of land surrounding a bowl-like valley where a perfect micro climate is created for growing award-winning coffees.

New in 2109

Hybrids and Plant Management

SMS is continuously exploring the future of coffee hybrids. This year we saw a huge breakthrough in the nutrition requirements for these coffees and hope to continue with this progress.

It is SMS's goal to be able to develop specific nutrition and care recommendations for each hybrid varietal available in any particular growing region. After unlocking the true ability and potential of a plant, the future will be to create best-fit post harvest processing methods.

All of this is for one ultimate goal: to decrease susceptibility to disease and pests, while increasing crop yields and quality.

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