Owner: Hernan Solis
Region: West Valley
Micro Region: Llano Bonito Naranjo
Micro mill: Helsar de Zarcero
Altitude (masl): 1700
Varietal: Villa Sarchí
Process: Fully Washed
Every time we meet with Mr. Solis, we are impressed with his eagerness to do whatever it takes to produce great coffee and are humbled to see all the work that is required in order to achieve the quality the farm produces. “Solis” is located in Naranjo, West Valley, at about 1700 masl. Once coffee cherries have been harvested, they are taken to Helsar for processing, which is located in the same neighborhood. Processing is vital to achieving clean and delicious coffee. The Helsar mill is also committed to being carbon neutral, and is certified as such.
Helsar is one of the most successful and well-regarded producers of specialty coffee in Costa Rica, as the result of the partnership between Ricardo Perez Barrantes and brothers Marvin and Felipe Rodriguez. Both Villa Sarchi Solis and Helsar are exemplars of excellent and forward thinking producers. We believe that the Villa Sarchí species is particularly interesting because it developed in Costa Rica and adapted to the climate and growing conditions unique to Costa Rica’s coffee regions. This varietal is now known for its great freshness and refreshing juiciness, which reinforces our belief that Villa Sarchí and the microclimates of the farms delivering to Helsar are made for one another.
The Helsar mill processes for over a dozen growers (including the production of the owners’ own farms). Each coffee is processed separately and to the exacting standards of each grower. The patios at Helsar are covered, in order to dry coffee more slowly (heat is increased and the covering prevents rain damage). In line with sustainability considerations, the mill uses the latest in low impact aqua pulping machinery. Ricardo Pérez Barrantes has exhibited a broad understanding of the effects that pulping, fermentation, and drying have on coffee. Helsar’s willingness to work closely with buyers, combined with Ricardo’s skills as a processor, allow Helsar to present amazing coffees year-to-year.