Deep in Costa Rica’s Central Valley, Hacienda Sonora farm sits at the foot of the active Poás Volcano. The farm, responsible for our Costa Rica Special Process workshop coffee, is as eye-catching and as it is innovative. The 100-hectare farm contains 65 hectares of coffee, 10 hectares of sugarcane and an additional 25 hectares for a wild forest reserve.
At Hacienda Sonora, coffee is a family business. Run by father-son tandem Alberto and Diego Guardia, the farm mixes the traditions of old with new innovations. Diego, who studied Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University, returned home two years after graduating to work with his father at the farm.
The Guardia’s have an immense attention to detail, keeping detailed records on things like irrigation, fertilization, and pruning to optimize yield and maximize quality. For 45 years, Alberto grew sugar cane on this land until a drop in the price of sugar prompted him to expand the coffee growing section.
Aside from a focus on details, part of Sonora’s originality lies in its diverse ecosystem. The farm grows its coffees amongst indigenous trees and other diverse vegetation that build an ideal growth environment and improve the chemistry of soil that’s already naturally rich from volcanic ash. Its diverse ecosystem attracts various species of birds and animals who call the land home.
A truly modern clean farm, Sonora aims to create a positive impact on the environment through its energy usage. The farm consumes 100% renewable energy that’s harvested on the farm, which powers the mill and provides electricity for workers.
As for coffee production, Sonora is well known for their quality micro-lots. Alberto and Diego tinker with the distance between plants to influence cherry growth. They also dedicate each field to one type of plant to better understand the influence of local growing conditions on unique flavor qualities of each plant.
The farm famously experiments with different coffee processing methods. Our Costa Rica Special Process workshop coffee is the perfect example, being processed through a combination of honey processing and natural processing.
A beautiful and scenic anomaly, Hacienda Sonora is a model farm that combines exemplary coffee with forward-thinking innovation and sustainability, proving that keeping it the family can go a long way.
Take a look at more photos from our visit to Hacienda Sonora farm in Costa Rica below and try our Costa Rica Special Process workshop coffee before it’s gone.