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.
Hacienda Sonora Estate has been in Alberto’s family for more than a Century. 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 in order to be able to maximize his quality, in order to do so he became a pioneer in very alternative processing techniques at the time such as Honey and Naturals.
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.
All of the energy consumed by the farm is 100% renewable energy harvested on the farm. This energy supplies power to the coffee mill and provides a portion of free electricity for some of the people who live and work at the farm. The green energy is harvested from a natural water stream with a special turbine, known as a Pelton Wheel.
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