Roaster’s tasting notes: this excellent blend from two great farms gives you smooth creamy milk chocolate notes, with stone fruits, such as apricot.
We work hard to always have a great quality decaf and we hope to have this one for sometime. This blend has been successfully created from products from two farms: Hacienda Sonora in Costa Rica and Finca Santa Ana in Guatemala.
Finca Santa Ana la Huerta, Gautemala
This is a farm with have worked with before and loved the quality of their product. Rony Asencio and his family have been growing coffee at Finca Santa Ana La Huerta since 1990. The farm sits high in the Sierra de Las Minas mountain range, in Guatemala’s eastern highlands. This lush, rain-drenched region contains some of Central America’s largest cloud forests and much of the area was declared a biosphere reserve in 1990. The region’s diverse habitats are estimated to contain some 70% of all bird and animal species found in Guatemala and Belize, including several threatened birds.
Rony’s family is originally from the hallowed coffee ground of Antigua. He grew up around coffee and his father was, himself, a coffee farmer. However, when only a young lad, Rony’s dad sadly passed away, and the farm was sold. Rony knew one day he would return to coffee. However, by the time he was old enough, many farmers in the region were, themselves, selling up to developers, who were offering far more money for land near the colonial town than they could earn by farming coffee. Antigua was out; the search was on.
Rony eventually found a reasonably sized farm near the Sierra de Las Minas national reservoir, at an altitude of 1,370 to 1,820 metres above sea level. Taking advice from his father in law, legendary Antigua farmer Luis Pedro Zelaya, he set about planting the farm with Caturra, Bourbon and Catimor trees.
A great deal of effort is put into maintaining the farm according to the most stringent cultivation practices, and equal effort is shown with regards to processing. All coffee at the farm is handpicked only when fully ripe. Afterwards the coffee is pulped, fermented for around 14-16 hours (depending on the temperature at the time) and fully washed. The coffee is then delivered to dry on the farm’s pristine patios or in Rony’s new parabolic dryer.
The farm’s location, its rich soils and its natural springs, which flow down from the surrounding mountains, create ideal conditions for growing high quality Arabica coffee.
Hacienda Sonora, Costa Rica
We adore high quality Costa Rican coffees and we have on order beans for our house espresso from the Acquiares Estate and also some of their exclusive honey processed beans.
Hacienda Sonora is located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, at the foot of the world renowned Poas Volcano. The farm’s covers approximately 100 hectares, 45 of which lie under heavy and diverse shade. In addition to coffee, farm is also composed of 35 hectares of wild forest reserve and 20 hectares of sugar cane. The average altitude is 1,200 metres above sea level, and the five different varieties of coffee grown by the Guardias is fostered in an environment surrounded by exotic trees and other vegetation, providing great conditions for quality as well as improving the chemistry of the already naturally rich volcanic soil. Thanks to the farm’s diverse ecosystem, many different species of birds and animals seek refuge in the land.
The farm’s micro coffee mill is built in the heart of Hacienda Sonora next to a traditional 150 year-old sugar cane mill that is preserved intact. All of the machines in the mill are tuned to perform in the best and most efficient manner, using the energy harvested within the farm. All of the energy consumed by the farm is 100% renewable energy harvested on the farm itself. 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.
The farm’s employees are a crucial piece of Hacienda Sonora’s success. Through their energy, consistency and local insights the farm has been able to build and maintain the farm. Their well-being is essential for the owners and for the tranquillity of the farm.
One of the many things that make Hacienda Sonora so different from other farms is the fact that free accommodation is provided for all workers and their families within the bounds of the farm. For each house, Hacienda Sonora covers for the cost of water, trash collection and a portion of their electricity. Every employee fully enjoys the benefits of the Costa Rica Health Insurance system.
All coffee on the farm is processed using the honey and natural methods. Both of these methods require a lot more work and care than the traditional fully washed. However, it all makes sense when you taste the results in the cup. By experimenting with different techniques, the farm has been able to perfect both methods so as to obtain distinct sweetness, with cocoa and fruit notes, and without a trace of over-ferment.