Nicaragua - Agua Sarca

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  • Farm: Agua Sarca
  • Varietal: Red Catuai
  • Location: Dipilto, Nueva Segovia
  • Altitude: 1200-1400
  • Process: Washed
  • Owner: Various Smallholders

Tasting Notes: Lemon, dark chocolate, and biscuit. Nutty finish with hints of toffee apple.

The Finca Agua Sarca, owned by Isacio Javier Albir Vílchez for over 30 years, has been passed down through his family. It is located at kilometer 250 on the Ocotal - Las Manos road, in Dipilto, Nueva Segovia.

The farm operates with a permanent workforce of 25 individuals, a number that expands to 85 during the harvest and collection period which typically runs from November to March. The farm, with an average size of 76 hectares, yields about 18 quintals of parchment per hectare.

The coffee varieties grown on the farm include Caturra, Yellow Catuai, Red Catuai, Maracaturra, Ovata, Parainema, Marcelleza, and Geisha. These are grown at altitudes ranging from 1200 to 1400 meters above sea level, on sandy loam soil.

The farm employs an eco-friendly approach to cultivating this coffee. It offers shade through a diverse mix of forest species, fruit trees, and banana plants. The farm uses both organic and mineral fertilizers, and also applies low-intensity pesticides to manage pests. Cultivation practices such as pruning, stumping, suckering, and shade management are regularly performed to maintain the health and quality of the coffee plants. Only ripe coffee cherries are harvested to ensure the highest quality beans.

Post-harvest, the coffee is measured, selected, and pulped. It then undergoes a fermentation process for 18 to 24 hours before it is washed with clean water. After washing, the coffee is sent to the dry mill in plastic bags and Macen sacks. Special care is taken to ensure the cleanliness of the transport.

At the dry mill, the coffee is sent to African drying beds, which are covered and housed inside a microtunnel. The design of the facility ensures that the coffee never comes into contact with the ground, maintaining its quality. PVC rakes are used to move the coffee beans around. Once dried, the coffee is stored in a special area within the warehouse, always kept separate from other coffees processed at the mill. The storage uses new plastic bags and Macen sacks.

Finally, the journey of the coffee to export begins. The coffee is taken from the patios at a humidity level of 11 to 11.5% and stored for about a month. It's then shelled and classified according to the preparation requirements of the client. It's packed in jute sacks and Ecotact bags, labelled with the corresponding International Coffee Organization (ICO) code, ready for export.

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