La Esperanza - Nicaragua

£8.00

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One more great coffee from Nicaragua to fit our 'Comfort' offering this season, and we are quite excited about this as it's a rare, old-school varietal which represents the region of Central America extremely well.

In the cup, you can aspect full bodied brew with subtile mature grapefruit acidity and brown sugar sweetness. The creamy mouthfeel and long finish makes it a very comforting brew for cold winter mornings. In a flat white, it reminds us of Maltesers. 

Origin:  La Esperanza, Nicaragua

Varietals: Maracaturra

Processing: Washed

Roast degree: Medium (read more). 

Q Score: 88 (what's this?)

You can get more sensory information about the coffee by looking at the diagrams in the images above. If you need to know how these work, just click here.

Do you need a recipe? - we're not sure you do! (see what we're on about here). We're always happy to help if we can - just drop us a line using the message icon in the bottom right corner of this screen! We also have sample grind size packs available to help you get your grinder dialled in for all our recommended brew methods. You can order yours here

IMPORTANT: Please read our short Coffee Bean Care Guide here

Want to know more about this coffee? Read on......

Samuel’s coffee story starts with his grandad who had a little farm of 5 manzanas that he gave to his son and then to Samuel. Other farms have been bought later on and the family now has a few pieces of land.

La Esperanza farm culminates at 1,400 metres above sea level. El Cambalache and El Manantial are another 2 of their farms and Gloria, Samuel’s mum, owns La Picona that was named after the conic shape of the parcel. The altitude on La Picona is 1,300 – 1,400m. Samuel managed the farms and grows Catuai, Caturra and Maracaturra. He has replaced a lot of the Catuai and Caturra with Maracaturra which gives him better quality and higher incomes although the yield is quite low for this variety. He keeps a bit of yellow Catuai that opened him doors to the Japanese market where his yellow Catuai lots are quite famous.

He hires 25 people for the harvest. The group of pickers he works with, has been working for the family for a very long time and they have a very strong relationship with Samuel. He pays them higher wages than the market but also offers services like loans for example outside the harvest season. The issue now is that the team ages and there are not many people from the new generation that want to work in coffee farms.

Samuel thinks that Maracaturra is representative of Nicaragua. It has been introduced in the country in the 90’s after a program for Central America that developed different varieties to plant in the area and that are adapted to the climate, diseases, etc. However, people saw very little yields and quickly decided to cut off the trees and plant back Catimor. Luckily Samuel’s dad did not uproot any of the Maracaturra.

Samuel is taking a complete opposite turn to the rest of coffee farmers in Nicaragua. He decided to change the whole farm management to adapt to that variety he cherishes.

During our visit we saw Zompopo, a kind of ant that lives in sandy soils, which is the case of many of Samuel’s farms and can be devastating for the farm. They like sun and don’t hesitate to destroy every plant that gives them shade, a real risk for coffee trees. A whole part of La Picona got taken down in 1 day by a colony a couple of years ago.

In Nicaragua, many producers do their own process directly at the farm but would deliver wet parchment to dry mill, which will not only husk and grade the coffee but also handle the whole drying process. In the case of natural, cherries are delivered to the dry mill right after being harvested. Samuel, like most of the Nicaraguans takes care of his own process. He started working with his dad at the wet mill when he was 8, at 12 he was the one managing it! He loves that part of the coffee production and always tries to experiment with the objective of reaching excellence. For example, he does sometimes ferment the cherries in plastic bags throwing water to it to get it moist and cool for the whole time of fermentation. The cherries are then either dried to do naturals or pulped to do washed or honeys.

The drying process is done partly at Samuel’s farm and at Cafetos de Segovia’s beneficio. Cafetos de Segovia is a dry mill located in Ocotal and surrounded by coffee land, making it easy for producers to deliver the wet parchment the same day as they harvest and process it.

In 2015, a local producer family realised that the prices paid for coffee cherries in the region were too low and that they could produce high-quality coffee on their own farm. They decided to create a dry mill to add value to their product, and that mill is now run by sisters Martha and Ana, along with their team. The family own a few farms that were inherited from Martha and Ana’s father. Like many properties in the area (in the north, bordering Honduras), the story of the farms’ ownership is a complex one. From 1975-1979 the Nicaraguan revolution hit the entire country, but it was even more intense at the Honduran border, forcing the family to emigrate to the USA. They returned to Ocotal six years later to find that their house and much of their farmland had been seized by the government. Only the house was returned to them – they had lost more than 100 manzanas (70ha) of coffee farm.

The dry mill services their farms and greenhouse – which they built in 2020 to grow experimental lots and more delicate varieties – but also the coffee of some relatives and a few non-related producers from the area. In total, 47 other producers work with Cafetos de Segovia. During peak harvest, up to 300 quintales per day is delivered to the mill, which has a drying capacity of 3,000 quintales at any one time (1 quintal = approximately 46kg green beans). Up to 30 people work at the mill during the season. Most of the coffee is delivered as wet parchment or cherries and 80% of the lots are washed. The drying is usually started on a patio, in the shade for 5-6 days and then in full sun. All patios are covered with black net so that the coffee is not laid directly on the floor. Shade drying is necessary as the sun hits hard at this lower altitude (less than 900masl). The naturals are moved every 3-4 hours and the coffee is piled during the hottest hours of the day. Cafetos de Segovia submits lots to the national Cup of Excellence every year.

Remember! - Shipping by DPD is FREE on orders which contain more than 1kg of coffee. You can mix and match varieties and bag sizes however you please. Single 250g bags go by Royal Mail 24 Large Letter Post and cost £1.95. To see all shipping options, click here.

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