Finca San José is very much the pride and joy of the Rodríguez family, and it's now in the hands of a fourth and fifth generation of coffee producers. The story begins in 1815 when José María Rodriguez and Josefina Rodriguez (great-grandparents) planted the first coffee trees with their own hands.
Through the generations, the farm has passed through the hands of many committed farmers; farmers like José's son, Israel Rodriguez. He was then followed by Jose Maria Rodriguez. Jose Maria took care of the farm until it came to Gloria Mercedes Rodriguez Fontán. Gloria is the most recent owner.
Ever the strong woman, Gloria has overcome gender barriers in an industry that has historically been the province of men, and she personally supervises every step at the farm level. Gloria not only takes care of San José but, together with her siblings' support, she manages five other small farms that collectively add up to thirty-eight hectares.
The mountain slopes of Finca San José are fully shaded by trees that help to maintain and preserve the crop and the surrounding environment. In addition to the trees' diversity, the farm is home to a variety of wild animals and birds, which can be seen in their natural habitat. San José is nested in the northwestern slope of an extinct volcanic crater, which holds a small lagoon inside it. The lagoon is named Nymph Lagoon, due to the abundance of water lilies.
Coffee at Finca San José goes through extensive quality control. It's also grown under standards that support specialty coffee production. The unique microclimate conditions include an average altitude of 1,500 metres above sea level, an average temperature of 17°C, and rich and loamy clay soil; and the coffee grown is mainly Bourbon.
Super clean and complex, this opens with white grape and red apple. As it cools and the sweetness comes to the fore it reminds me of a malted milk biscuit, but with a shoulder of lemon zest. What really stands out though is the aftertaste, where the red apple is really big and lasting (and delicious).