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Costa Rica

Finca Volcán Azul


A super clean anaerobic natural process Gesha by a globally-respected producer: Mr Alejo Castro! It makes us dream of Campari, raspberry and bubble gum.

Body     Acidity

Roasted omni for filter and espresso

A super clean anaerobic natural process Gesha from a globally-respected producer. The cup makes us dream of Campari, raspberry and bubble gum!


Or should we say Very, Very Special?

To start with, it’s an Anaerobic Natural process Gesha varietal. If you’re a beginner in the world of coffee, we explain more about what those mean below; if you’re a seasoned member of the Sample Coffee community, you know that’s a rare and precious thing!

Then, it’s the producer—Alejo Castro Khale from Finca Volcán Azul. He is a descendant of Alejo C. Jiménez, who got into the coffee business in Costa Rica at the beginning of the 19th century and is a renowned specialty producer and communicator.

For all these reasons and its clean and complex flavour profile (Campari, bubble gum!!), this coffee is our choice for this December’s Brew Crew VS edition.


In the words of the producers themselves: “In the early 19th century, when coffee production was just taking root in America, two pioneers and entrepreneurs, Alejo C. Jiménez in Costa Rica and Wilhelm Kahle in the south of Mexico, unknowingly shared the same dream: ‘To produce the best coffee in the world’ to satisfy the new and discerning European gourmet market. Today, the descendants of these visionary farmers continue to produce coffee with the same ideals of excellence and top quality that inspired their ancestors in Costa Rica.

Nowadays, the descendants of Don Alejo C. and Don Wilhelm aim to further enhance the principles of quality inherited from their founders by adding the value of conservancy of natural resources. This involves acquiring extensions of natural rainforest for protection and conservation—a tangible contribution to reducing air contamination and global warming.

These actions, not just words, represent the small steps taken by one family to benefit mankind and pass on a new awareness to future generations. Currently, the farm is managed by Alejo Khale Castro. His dedication to quality and innovative drive have consistently positioned Volcán Azul in Coffee of Excellence competitions!

Here’s an interview with April Coffee Roasters in Denmark:


Gesha (also known as Geisha) is a variety known for its exceptional cupping quality, but also for its susceptibility to diseases and low yield potential. This combination has made it a precious produce, paid almost the highest in the coffee trade market.

"This variety was originally collected from coffee forests in Ethiopia in the 1930s. From there, it was sent to the Lyamungu research station in Tanzania, and then brought to Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) in Central America in the 1953, where it was logged as accession T2722. It was distributed throughout Panama via CATIE in the 1960s after it had been recognised for tolerance to coffee leaf rust. However, the plant’s branches were brittle and not favored by farmers so it was not widely planted. The coffee came to prominence in 2005 when the Peterson family of Boquete, Panama, entered it into the "Best of Panama” competition and auction. It received exceptionally high marks and broke the then-record for green coffee auction prices, selling for over $20/pound.

[…]It is associated with extremely high cup quality when the plants are managed well at high altitude, and is known for its delicate floral, jasmine, and peach-like aromas.

As of December 2023, our team has agreed to use the ‘Gesha’ variation when referring to this variety (previously we had written the version given by the coffee importer).

“The spellings Geisha and Gesha are often used interchangeably, relating to the fact that there is no set translation from the dialects of Ethiopia to English.

The coffee was first recorded in germplasm records with the spelling “Geisha,” and coffee researchers and germplasm banks have mostly maintained that spelling over many decades, leading that spelling to be promoted and used first in the coffee industry.

The coffee was originally collected in Ethiopia in a region close to a mountain whose name is most commonly rendered in English as Gesha. Consequently, many in the coffee industry have preferred to rescue that spelling.”

Source of above varietal info: World Coffee Research
More on the spelling dilemma and trends: Stop Calling It “Geisha” Already - Sprudge


Pre-harvest: This is the part of the process that receives less attention, yet it’s probably the most important in processing great quality coffee. Constant hard work over the years is essential because even a short period of neglect can spoil all the work done. To develop a well-rounded coffee bean with complex flavours, it’s crucial to plant the best varieties, maintain healthy soil, protect plantations from diseases, and ensure sustainability for constant high quality over the years.

Harvest: It’s fundamental that we pick the cherries at the optimum level of ripeness. This allows us to have more complex flavours in our cup of coffee. We measure the brix content of the mucilage of the coffee cherries to determine the best time to pick them. Usually, we start at 22 brix content (depending on the variety, but we have had measurements of 28 or even 30).

Wet mill: The first step is to measure the cherries coming from the plantation by truck or tractor. We measure the cherries by volume using a 200-litre box; two of these give us one fanega (400 litres), resulting in approximately 46 kg of green coffee. After this, we separate floaters, which are typically unripe, overdried, or defective cherries. At this step, we also clean the coffee from branches, leaves, dirt, and any other foreign matter from the field. We then decide on the process for the harvested lot. It’s crucial to slow-dry our coffee to preserve quality. More mucilage, pulp, and time mean more fermentation during the drying process.

Processing - Anaerobic: We use anaerobic tanks with a valve that lets the oxygen out, replaced with CO2. We develop different recipes by measuring time, temperature, pH or acidity of the mucilage, and brix content of the mucilage inside the tank. It’s important to note that we don’t add anything strange to this process; we aim to develop or enhance flavours naturally present in our coffee with the help of autochthonous yeast from our farm. After this, the coffee is taken to the drying patio or raised beds, stirred each day from 8 am to 2 pm. At 2 pm, we start covering the coffee with plastic to maintain warmth during the night and prevent humidity absorption from the morning mist. This process takes around 16 days, depending on the weather.


All the images and information about this coffee and its producers have been kindly shared by the importer, Condesa, and edited by us, Sample Coffee (unless linked to or credited otherwise).

Resting beans inside the sealed bag helps develop peak flavours and acidity

Learn how long and why you should wait in our brewing window recommendations.

Try our step-by-step recipes and videos

Our recipes are easy to follow and designed to bring the best out of our coffee. Find your favourite method on our brew guides collection or test a new one—and if you have any questions, ask us anytime at [email protected].


Alejo Castro Khale


Finca Volcán Azul


Costa Rica




1500-1700m above sea level




Anaerobic Natural



Tasting notes

Campari, raspberry and bubble gum

Roast style



Gesha varietal

An exceptionally high quality variety that has grown in popularity, Gesha is named after the town of Gesha in Ethiopia where the seeds originated.

The location

Coffee from Costa Rica

Since the mid-2000s there has been an increasing focus on the establishment of micro-mills in Costa Rica to increase their production of traceable, high quality lots of coffee.

The Tarrazú region of Costa Rica

The area generally considered to produce the highest grade coffee in Costa Rica. Farmers from other regions are known to market their coffee as ‘Tarrazú’ due to the strength of the name

Farm processes

Anaerobic Natural process

This technique leaves some flesh on the coffee cherry during processing and drying. This results in flavours which may show jammy fruit and a little winey-ness.

Coffee delivery: coffee in resealable bag and farm information card

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