Hacienda Sonora Estate has been in Alberto Guardia’s family for more than a Century. Alberto took over management of the farm in the '70's and began planting the majority of the land with coffee. With historical low coffee prices in 1999, Alberto invested to build a mill on site in order to maximize his quality. In doing so, he became a pioneer of unusual alternative processing techniques at the time with methods such as honey and natural processes. Don Alberto became living proof of how unique varieties and fermentations could result in different levels of complexity in the cup. Today, Hacienda Sonora has more than 20 different varieties of coffee plants grown on 80 hectares of land (+ 20 hectares of forest reserve) and is known to be a welcoming place for coffee lovers. Much of the operations of the farm have been taken over by Don Alberto's son, Diego Guardia. Diego and his family live on the farm and oversees the complete production from start to finish.
All of the energy consumed by the farm is 100% renewable energy harvested on the farm. This energy supplies power to the coffee mill and provides a portion of 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.
At Hacienda Sonora, hand-picked coffee cherries are first dunked in water for floater separation before the beans are dried inside the fruit. The full cherries are dried on a black tarp on top of grass for 12 days using different layering, depending on the drying stage (always covered at night). These meticulous controls keep temperatures low which preserves cup quality and shelf life of the coffee. After 12 days, the coffee is moved to the warehouse to rest for 3 days (at 14% humidity). After resting, the coffee is loaded into a mechanical dryer that never exceed 35°C which results in better uniformity in the coffee. Once the coffee reaches a humidity of 10.5%, it is rested for 2 Months before being hulled out of the dry husk and then going through weight, screen, density and color sorting.
San Isidro 48 is a locally developed cultivar that was developed to have high quality potential while also being high yielding and possessing resistance to leaf rust (la roya). Out of a full table of offer samples from Diego and Alberto, the San Isidro 48 really stood out for its distinct and clean fruity character.