Farm: Finca de Alejo Castro
Varietal: Catuai, Caturra, Vllla Sarchi & Obata
Altitude: 1,300 metres above sea level
Owner: Alejo Castro
Town / City: San Bosco, Alajuela
Region: Central Valley
Finca de Alejo Castro - Costa Rica
Jorge Montano is the manager of this 40 hectare farm in San Bosco, Alajuela, situated just south looking up at the famous Poas Volcano. This microlot is made up of four different varieties drawn from different lots, notably including the rust-resistant, Brazilian variety ‘Obata’.
This lot was processed at the nearby Micromill Sonora using the natural method.
Located at the foot of the Poas Volcano, Hacienda Sonora is both a coffee farm and micro-mill. Owner Alberto Guardia has 40 years experience of producing coffee, and 17 years ago took the plunge in opening up his very own micromill alongside his farm. With the help of his son Diego, who returned home 3 years ago after studying and working in the USA, the mill continuously builds on their already impressive 17 years of experience processing fine coffees.
The micromill 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 most efficient manner, using only energy harvested within the farm. In fact, all energy consumed by the farm is 100% renewable energy harvested from a natural water stream with a special turbine, known as a Pelton Wheel. 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 mill specialises in honey and natural processing, both of which require more work and care than the traditional fully washed but are much more energy and water efficient. Over the years, Alberto has played with and tried different techniques, constantly honing his craft in order to achieve consistent results through processing time after time.
Another important advantage is that the farm is able conserve vast amounts of water by using only honey and th
e natural processes. Using the honey method saves more than 3 gallons of water per pound of coffee. Natural processed coffee doesn’t require any water at all.