Country: Costa Rica
Region: Poas, Central Valley
Altitude: 1,300 MASL
Cupping Notes: Blood Orange, Mint, Black Tea, Caramel, Plum
Recommended Roast:City to Full City
Good For: Auto Drip, Pour Over, Espresso
Description: 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 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 Honeys and Naturals. Also became a living proof of how different varietals could create different level of complexity in the cup. In 2011, Alberto’s son Diego became the co-manager of Hacienda Sonora and has combined his father’s longtime experience with his background in engineering to take an innovative approach and start new projects. Nowadays, Sonora has more than 20 different varietals of plants in 80 hectares of coffee along with 20 hectares of forest reserve.
From Sonora, on Venecia:
“This coffee comes from the Venecia Varietal, which is natural mutation of Bourbon, which was originated in Venecia of San Carlos, Costa Rica. These trees look like a dwarf version of a Caturra tree, and one of its main attributes is that the cherries get ripe very late into the summer. This allows these plots to be picked last; hence reaching a very high brix content that is reflected in the cup profiles of rich, roundly sweet-tart and deep florals that prevail in the long aftertaste.”
Hacienda Sonora has separated plots for each of its varietals. It is common practice to keep everything separated and identified until the moment of being exported. Coffees are hand-picked, float separated, then the cherries then go to drying. The cherries are dried in black tarp for 12 days using different layers depending on the drying stage (always covered at night). Then the coffee rests for 3 days in the warehouse (at 14% humidity) before getting the final dry on 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.
We have had a long relationship with the Guardia Family, and we’re happy to have such good naturals from them in the warehouse this year. In this Venecia lot we get notes of Blood Orange, Mint, Black Tea, Caramel, and Plum.
I just roasted a pound of Sonora Venecia and love it. I think this is a different “crop” from my previous review. I took a chance on testing it right from my cooling tray knowing that it could have to wait some time to degass. I mostly prefer milder coffees as I only drink espresso with a touch of milk. I guessed 24 grams to try and make up for the extreme freshness of the roast. Well what I got for a shot was a ristretto at about 80 seconds! In the interest of science I tasted it before i threw it out to remake it and it tasted fantastic! I roasted it into second crack and could still pick up on the notes of orange and the black tea finish. Easy to drink as straight espresso or Americano.
Costa Rica Sonora Venecia Natural - Green