Costa Rica Hacienda Sonora Black Honey Microlot

Our new Costa Rica Hacienda Sonora Black Honey Microlot is a classic Costa Rican variety: Red Catuai. While Costa Rica is home to many coffee varieties, Red Catuai has generated somewhat of a fan following at Hacienda Sonora. What’s more, the black honey process utilized in this microlot adds additional layers of fruit in the cup, creating a well balanced, complex coffee suitable for everyday enjoyment.

Red Catuai is a cross between the highly productive Mundo Novo and compact Caturra varieties. It was originally developed by the Instituto Agronomico (IAC) of Sao Paulo State in Campinas, Brazil. Compared to bourbon Red Catuai produces a higher volume of cherry partly due to its small size, which allows plants to be closely spaced— in practice at nearly double the density of Bourbon.Red Catuai is mainly characterized by its great vigor and low height, making them easy to prune and maintain. Even with all this going for it, Red Catuai like many other varieties is still highly susceptible to coffee leaf rust.

Our Hacienda Sonora Black Honey Microlot is hand-picked and expertly pulped to preserve 100% of the mucilage. After a floater separation process, it is patio dried for 9 days using different thickness layers depending on the day, and warehoused at 14% humidity for 3 days. Afterwards it is mechanically dried for better uniformity at temperatures never exceeding 35°C (95° F). Once the coffee reaches a humidity of 10.5% it is left to rest in parchment for two months before going through weight, screen, density and color sorting prior to being packaged in Grainpro for export.

Going back to its roots over a century ago, Hacienda Sonora has remained connected to the specialty scene as a leader in innovative processing and mixed planting of coffee varieties. Alberto Guardia and his son Diego manage all of Sonora’s 197 acres, keeping each of their coffee varieties strictly separated as individual growing plots. For father and son, it’s common practice to keep everything portioned and easily identifiable until the moment of its export in Grainpro parcels. Sonora is made up of 20% trees and forest, 5% roads, and 75% coffee trees. Incredibly, nearly 50 acres of Sonora is entirely forest reserve! They generate their own energy, and are able to provide their own irrigation using a river that flows through the property as their water source.

When Alberto took over farming operations in the 70’s, he decided that coffee would be its majority agricultural crop, and shortly thereafter it became the family’s main source of income. In 1999, finding coffee prices at a historical low, Alberto invested in a private mill to maximize his quality. In doing so he became a pioneer in the niche, alternate processing methods of Honeys and Naturals. Back then Alberto was pushing the processing envelope, while simultaneously planting an assortment of arabia varieties. Thanks to his insight and strict adherence to planting independence, his living legacy is enshrined as testimonial proof to the varying levels of complexity that different varieties can create in the cup.

Cupping Notes: Pleasant aroma. Notes of ripe tangerine and raspberry with a cane sugar sweetness. Good acidity and a creamy, syrupy body.
Producer: Hacienda Sonora
Owner: Alberto and Diego Guardia
Region: Central Valley
Variety: Red Catuai
Processing: Black Honey
Altitude: 4,265 ft (1300m)
Coffee Grading: Microlot
Harvest: Dec - Feb