Costa Rica - Hacienda Sonora (Diego Guardia)
In Costa Rica's Central Valley, Hacienda Sonora sits at the foot of the active Poás Volcano. On this 100-hectare farm, 65 hectares are dedicated to shade coffee, 10 hectares to sugarcane and 25 hectares are wild forest reserve.
Alberto Guardia began growing coffee at Hacienda Sonora 45 years ago. His son Diego was born and raised on Sonora and then left to earn a Mechanical Engineering degree at San Diego State University and while living in Ocean Beach. After graduating, he worked for two years as a construction engineer in California, before deciding to return home to work with his father and improve and maintain the farm's operation. Sonora's coffees grow amongst indigenous trees and other diverse vegetation that provide a great environment for quality and improve the chemistry of soil that's already naturally rich from volcanic ash. Thanks to the farm’s diverse ecosystem, many different species of birds and animals make their homes on the land. Sonora has a well-earned reputation for producing quality micro-lots featuring specific varietal and processing separation. It also strives to have a positive impact on the environment and people that surround its business. All the energy consumed by the farm is 100 percent renewable energy that's harvested on the farm and powers the mill and electricity for workers. Alberto and Diego are committed to taking care of their workers through free family housing and fair wages, helping them create better lives for their families.
Guatemala - Finca Montañita (José Humberto Gonzalez)
This 200 hector farm is located on a high mountain (1,700 meters) in the municipality of Mataquescuintla in the district of Jalapa of south-east Guatemala. The farm is managed by Jose Humberto Sr., an agronomist who has dedicated his life to growing exceptional coffee. His son Jose Humberto Jr has been experimenting with the fermentation processes to enhance the coffee and create new and exciting flavor profiles.
El Salvador - Divisadero Farms (Mauricio Salaverria)
“Moe” as his friends call him, has been involved in coffee all of his life, following in his parents and grandparents footsteps since the 1890’s. Moe owns and manages 5 farms including Finca Himilaya, Finca CruzGorda, and Finca Villa Galicia (where Divisadero’s mill is also located) with primarily shade grown Bourbon. All of Moe’s farms are located in the Apaneca highlands. His attention to quality all along the agronomy and processing chain are evident when you talk to him and taste his coffee. Moe prides himself on consistent high quality, proving his attention to detail by receiving 3 awards in the top 10 COE in 2015. At Divisadero’s ecological Mill at Finca Villa Galicia, Moe has Bourbon, Pacas, and Pacamara spread across 20 manzanas with flat terroir, giving him favorable conditions for maintaining quality with selective picking.
Oaxaca - San Mateo, Yoloxochitlán
San Mateo Yoloxochitlán belongs to the district of Teotitlán within the region of La Cañada in the state of Oaxaca with a total population of 3614 inhabitants.
This is one of the highest regions of the Mazateca mountain range, which to belongs to the Sierra Madre Oriental of Oaxaca. Temperatures are predominantly subtropical, with average temperatures of 77 °F. The producers of the Association Integradora de Cooperativas Oaxaqueñas are proud of their roots and preserve their customs, but are also open to new practices as long as these respect the environment and conserve the natural resources of their locality. This microlot was curated by our very own Concepcion Ortiz, Global’s palate in Mexico. She built this microlot with her cupping spoon by choosing the best scoring parcels from producers of San Mateo. These star producers have processed their coffee with extreme care to ensure the quality in the cupping table as they seek to enter the specialty market. They want their families to have better opportunities and are aware that they will be able to do so if their coffee improves harvest after harvest.
Ethiopia - Neja
I’m not sure what makes coffee special for you, but I love that it’s the jumpstart to my day, a permanent fixture in my routine. I love it’s rich history and progressive culture. I love the cutting edge technology in our cafe and I love that it means nothing without the dirty hands working in the field thousands of miles away. I love the complex nature and process of coffee, and I particularly love the relationships built along the way. After years of dreaming, we were finally able to visit the birthplace of coffee. We were able to shake some of those dirty hands, make some new friends, and learn a whole lot.
Ethiopia is a “Mecca” of sorts in specialty coffee. It is widely considered the origin of coffee and is home to many of the world’s highest scored coffees year after year. Ethiopia had been a dream destination since embarking on this journey as a coffee company and this year we finally had the opportunity to go. We linked up with the Crop to Cup team in Southern Ethiopia to pay a visit to places like Girgacheffe and Sodoma that have gained international notoriety for their top quality coffees. Crop to Cup has exported coffee out of Ethiopia for years, and the knowledge of country director Moata was priceless. We spent many hours driving down never ending dirt roads listening and learning from Moata. Each day was long and full. We visited many mills and farms. Some that have great reputations, and others that will export their coffee for the first time this season. Some had multiple international investors, while others were family owned and passed down for generations. Then there was one mill that stuck out as special. This mill was owned by a young entrepreneur full of passion and vision for the future of coffee.
This young entrepreneur is Nejah Fadil. We had gotten to know him over the course of the trip as he drove us to the various farms and mills. It wasn’t until our last day that we realized he owned a mill himself. Nejah previously played professional soccer in the nearby city of Dila. He retired at a young age to help his family's business, a grain mill. Some of their investors were also invested in coffee washing mills. Nejah was intrigued and eventually bought his own land in the mountains above Dila to start his own mill. He didn’t know much about coffee yet, but purchased a beautiful lot overlooking a vast valley with a stream running right through it. Nejah put in time getting to know the local community and gaining their respect. When he received the permit necessary to process coffee, Nejah offered local farmers premium prices immediately in hopes of gaining their business despite being new to the industry. Since starting a few years ago, Nejah has grown considerably and now collects coffee cherries from over 100 nearby farms. He has strategically built his facilities to continue growing with the dream of providing more jobs and opportunity for the families and farmers in the surrounding area. Nejah takes great pride in his team and took the time to introduce each of his team members and share their role. You could tell they were happy to be working with Nejah. Even though Nejah is young and new to this industry, his land sits at a high elevation and the coffee coming from his mill was our favorite after cupping over 50 Ethiopian coffees.
We knew we’d be able to find great coffee in Ethiopia, but we are particularly excited to share this coffee with you and to support a young entrepreneur like ourselves who really cares for his team and has big dreams for their future. Look out for Nejah’s coffee in the upcoming months!