[Costa Rica Hybrid Variety Series] Catigua Ana Williams
A family’s legacy
The 70’s were a big decade for Alberto and Ana. They got married, moved, and took over Hacienda Sonora, which had been in Alberto’s family for more than a century. For years, it was a remote place, with no electricity or phone lines.
When Alberto and Ana arrived, the farm grew mostly sugarcane. Plot by plot, they began removing the sugarcane and planting coffee, each plot an open canvas for new coffee varietals and other trees.
While her husband was focused on production and the immediate problem of paying bills, Ana –long passionate about nature and diversity – focused on creating a habitat for as many species as possible.
An ideal environment
Hacienda Sonora sits at the foot of the world renowned, Poas Volcano, in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, nearly 4,000 feet above sea level. The 250-acre farm hosts 175 acres of shaded coffee, and the rest, wild forest reserve.
Coffee here grows in an environment surrounded by exotic trees and other vegetation, providing ideal conditions for quality, as well as improving the chemistry of the already naturally rich volcanic soil. Thanks to the farm’s diverse ecosystem, many different species of birds and animals seek refuge in the oasis.
Besides sustainable farming, Sonora is powered by an ecological and efficient mill (built in 1999). Water consumption is minimal, all the processing in Sonora is either honey or natural so the water consumption is minimal. All the energy at the farm is produced and harvested using a small, efficient hydroelectric plant.
New varietals include CentroAmericano, Milenio, Obata, Yellow Obata, Maresellesa, Catigua, Yellow Icatu, Yellow Tupi, and Yellow Paraiso.
Inspired by “tea tastes”
Ana grew up in Costa Rica with a British dad, so she’s no stranger to drinking tea. She translated her “tea tastes” into coffee, drinking elegant and subtle varietals such as Bourbon, Typica, Geisha and yellow Catuai. Thanks to Anna’s pallet, Hacienda Sonora started planting interesting varietals long before it became a trend 20 years ago.
While planting coffee based on taste is a beautiful thing, it’s not always the best when trying to keep a business alive. But Sonora has evolved into experimenting with more productive and disease-resistant varietals. While focusing on maintaining the elegant taste that inspired Ana – and so many others – to fall in love with coffee.
Producer: Ana Williams, Hacienda Sonora
Taste Notes: Medium-bodied and earthy with mild berry, apple, and wood notes
Region: Alajuela, Costa Rica
Altitude: 1,250 MASL