Region: Carrillos Alto de Poás, Alajuela, Central Valley
Farm: Hacienda Sonora
Farmer/Grower: Alberto and Diego Guardia
Altitude: 1300 m.a.s.l.
Density: 1.20 g/ml
Harvest Date: February, 2021
Arrival Date: September, 2021
Marks: 0005/0025/0304 - P10662-9
SCA Cupping Score: 85.5
Fragrance of panela, brown spice in aroma, notes of berries, dried fruit, brown sugar, vanilla, some nuttiness, green apple acidity and medium body.
Light/medium to medium roasts would show off this coffee best. The fruity sweetness will shine through at this roast level while darkers roasts will show less of the fruit character and more of the vanilla, brown sugar notes.
In the 1970’s when Alberto took over the farm he began planting the majority of the land with coffee and shortly after it became the main source of income. In 1999, with historical low coffee prices, Alberto invested in a Mill to maximize his quality. He then became a pioneer in alternative processing techniques at the time such as Honey and Naturals.
At Hacienda Sonora, hand-picked cherries are first dunked in water for floater separation, before the beans are dried inside the fruit (rather than after the fruit has been removed, as is the case with wet-processed or “washed” coffees). The cherries are dried on a black tarp on top of grass for 12 days using different layers depending on the drying stage (always covered at night). These controls keep temperatures low which preserves cup quality and shelf life of the coffee. After 12 days, the coffee is moved to the warehouse to rest for 3 days (at 14% humidity) before getting a final dry in a mechanical dryer (which allows better uniformity) at temperatures that never exceed 35C. Once the coffee reaches a humidity of 10.5%, it rests for 2 Months before being hauled out of the dry husk and then going through weight, screen, density and color sorting.
Don Alberto also became living proof of how unique varieties could create different levels of complexity in the cup. Nowadays, Hacienda Sonora has more than 20 different varieties of plants in 80 hectares of coffee (+ 20 hectares of forest reserve) and is known to be a welcoming place for coffee lovers.