After discovering some great coffees on our first trip to Nicaragua last year, we returned in early 2019 hoping to find even more gems. Being able to revisit and secure lots from Cerro de Jesus and Apolo 11 again, the trip also allowed more active exploration of the northern region of Nueva Segovia from where we've selected three different lots to roast and release as filter coffees for the first time this year. Amongst the coffees we cupped whilst there, this blended lot of 100% Maragogype from three producers in La Cordillera, Dipilto, Nueva Segovia stood out.
Amounting to a grand total of just one sack of coffee, La Roca was produced by three producers in the town of La Cordillera close to the Northern border with Honduras. Two of the three producers have placed in Nicaragua's Cup of Excellence competition in 2018 and 2015, and all three are invested in improving the harvesting and processing protocols for their Maragogype to ensure they receive a premium payment for producing coffee of specialty quality.
Misael Sauceda Olivera grew his contribution on his farm La Divina Providencia and Sergio Jose Paguaga Gonzalez on his farm La Ventaja. The third farmer to contribute is named Fabio Rodriguez Quintanilla. Altogether their 97 kilograms of parchment coffee was kept separate after slowly drying on shaded, raised beds at Caravela's beneficio in Ocotal, before being cupped and graded. As all three lots were of AAA quality grade, they have been blended together to produce enough exportable green coffee for this one sack.
Maragogype, a notoriously low-yielding plant, isn't widely planted as most other varieties offer much better resilience in the field coupled with higher yields. A natural mutation in Typica causes gigantism in the plant, from the leaves to the cherries, resulting in much larger seeds to roast than other varieties. The cell structure of these huge beans is very porous and lacking density compared to other varieties. This same trait, passed down to hybrid varieties birthed from Maragogype such as Pacamara and Maracaturra, make it very hard to process, dry and roast with excellent results.
This is the first time we've tasted and thoroughly enjoyed a large bean variety. Typically, we find issues with onion-like flavours or very dominant roast faults in the cup; a tough thing to avoid when roasting such a distinct coffee variety. We're excited by the challenge of developing a roast profile that can tap into all the citrus and tropical fruit tones we found from sample roasting, and are grateful for your support in allowing us to continue to find excellent coffees that support the work of dedicated coffee farmers around the world.
La Cordillera, Dipilto, Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua
A slim, clean cup with sweet pineapple, satsuma & whitecurrant fruit notes. Distinctive aromas of lemon balm, pine & lychee complement a refreshing finish.