Alejo Castro Kahle is a descendant of coffee pioneers in Costa Rica. He is committed to honoring the legacy of his ancestors through the continued pursuit of their aim — producing excellent coffees and making the family's name known for it worldwide.
To ensure consistent quality and make way for improvement every year, he is involved in every step of production, from the establishment of the coffee plants, cherry harvest, fermentation and drying, until dry milling and loading the greens into containers for export.
With 200 years of heritage knowledge in coffee, Alejo is vocal about soil health as the cornerstone of cultivating coffee trees that yield cherries with well-developed beans having the potential for complex flavors. He implements only processing innovations that preserve the integrity of variety while highlighting its most desirable attributes and reflecting its provenance.
Volcan Azul is the flagship estate of the Castro Kahle family. It spans 300 hectares on the slopes of the Poas Volcano, of which 60 hectares are planted, and 200 hectares are dedicated to conservation. There are 40+ varieties grown on the farm, of which Geisha, Typica, SL 28, Caturra, and San Isidro have won at the COE.
San Isidro is a Costa Rican cultivar from selected lines of the Portuguese T5296, itself crossbred from Timor H382-2 and Villa Sarchi. It was named after the town closest to one of the family’s farms where experiments took place to develop a resilient variety with the potential for high quality and high yield.
Fermentation was done in sealed tanks with a valve that released oxygen and allowed CO2 to permeate the cherries. Parameters were monitored and regulated until the necessary levels were achieved, amplifying the flavors naturally contained in the coffee seed. Whereas a natural processed San Isidro could exhibit pleasant and familiar nutty and dark sugar notes with a mildly crisp acidity, the Natural Anaerobic process created the conditions for a winey, darkly fruited, and chocolatey flavor profile to emerge.