cranberry, gose, white tea
region: nueva segovia
farm: santa teresa de mogoton
producer: silvio sanchez
elevation: 1500 masl
harvest: december - march
importer: ally coffee
Producer Silvio Sanchez came to coffee farming through studying agronomy. His mother loved coffee and so the two of them saved their money, took out a loan, and purchased a piece of land well-suited to growing coffee in the La Union, San Fernando region of the Nueva Segovia department.
Santa Teresa de Mogoton is a relatively remote farm, accessible by a single road that leads to a handful of farms. The farm is beyond the reaches of cell phone service and the deep trenches along the sides of the road from heavy rainfall challenge even well-equipped 4×4 trucks.
Dense pine forests and interplanted pine trees provide shade for coffee, casting dark shadows of the deep green leaves of the coffee trees, giving Santa Teresa de Mogoton a quiet, spectral atmosphere. The farm is expertly organized, a testament to Silvio’s training as an agronomist, and the neat rows of young trees have given several successful harvests. The farm is 10 hectares and cultivates Catimor and Java varieties in addition to the Catuai selected for this lot.
Natural processing begins when cherries are picked, weighed, and checked for quality at the farm. Next, cherries are transported an hour and a half down the mountain to the warm, dry town of Ocotal in plastic boxes to keep the cherries in good shape. The drying is done in full sun on African drying beds at the Expocamo mill. The coffee is constantly turned and sorted for uniformity. Each day’s picking, called a “partida,” is delivered and dried separately.
The Department of Nueva Segovia lies along Nicaragua’s northern border with Honduras. The capital city of Ocotal is home to dry mill and warehouse facilities. The small and midsized farms in the hills of Ocotal and San Juan del Rio Coco are owned and worked by farmers who are diligently making the conversion to specialty through careful harvest and post-harvest processing.
Nueva Segovia is beloved for its beautiful views, and many farms in the region also practice agroforestry, with fruit and hardwood trees intercropped with coffee and shade trees integrated into coffee plots, creating secondary forest. The rich soil from coffee grown under shade for many years leads to hearty trees producing plump cherries and ultimately a complex, delicious cup.