Papua New Guinea – Rika Rika
Nicaragua is a beautiful country of deep blue lakes and active volcanoes. Spending the night camping on the Mayasa volcano after staring into it’s red hot belching furnace and visiting steaming hot bat filled lava caves was quite a nerve wracking experience, but up in the mountains, close to the border with Honduras, the tranquility of of Nicaragua’s finest coffee farms is broken only by the evening chorus from the surrounding forest.
The region of Nueva Segovia, where Finca El Bosque is situated is heralded as Nicaragua’s premier coffee growing region. The high altitude and excellent climatic conditions produce cup of excellence winning lots year after year and the proximity of Nicaragua’s coffee mills enable farmers to protect the quality of their beans throughout the drying process.
Finca El Bosque which translates as The Forest Farm has spectacular views over the forests and mountains of Jicaro and San Fernando. The environment is very wild and coffee grows densely amongst shade trees of banana and inga. The potassium injected into the soil by the banana trees is elemental to the nutrition of the coffee farm. Of the farm’s 140 hectares only 30 are allocated for coffee production with the rest of the farm set aside for the growth of pine and oak. All power on the farm is provided by solar panels and a rainwater harvesting tank which provides hydroelectricity. These factors and owner Julio’s clear commitment to sustainable practice has resulted in Rainforest Alliance certification for Finca El Bosque.
This is a commitment matched only by Julio and his farm manager Javier Antonia Mayorquin’s passion and dedication to growing exceptional coffee. Ripe cherries are hand picked and sorted before entering the farm’s wet mill, where ripe and underripe cherries are separated by density in flotation tanks. The selected cherries are then pulped to remove the skin and fruit. The water used in this process is recycled and the sticky beans enter fermentation tanks for 14 to 18 hours before being washed again. The final stage is to take the washed beans to the drying patios at the nearby mill, where they are carefully turned regularly for 10 -12 days to ensure good even drying. And the result – exceptional coffee, with lively bright and complex flavour nuances in the cup !