Nicaragua Santa Rita - Direct Trade (Washed)

Nicaragua Santa Rita - Direct Trade (Washed)

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Tasting Notes

Honeycomb, Roasted Oolong, White Florals, Kiwi Fruit

We are delighted to present this directly traded coffee from an exceptional farm in a country which has a very special place in our hearts. Santa Rita in Jinotega, Nicaragua is run by fourth-generation women coffee growers who are committed to producing specialty coffee in harmony with the people and the environment of the area, with a special emphasis on water conservation and family garden-food security initiatives. Their coffees are 100% traceable and produced to the highest sustainability standards. For washed lots, cherries are handpicked at the peak of their ripeness and then taken to their own wet mill to be sorted, fermented and rinsed in fresh mountain spring water, before being dried for 21 days on raised African beds.

We selected two highly individualistic microlots from Santa Rita this year, which are textbook examples of the type of impact varietal and processing can have on a cup of coffee. Both of these varietals are uncommon and difficult to grow, requiring an expert's touch and a wine-grower's passion to yield the desired results. One of these was a naturally processed Maragogype - a gigantic natural mutation of Typica which is only grown on a limited basis, and mainly in this part of the world. The cup profile matched the physical appearance of the beans - yielding an immensely bold, sweet and rich cup, with flavour notes of dark chocolate, liquorice, coca-cola and boozy blueberries. We served this on espresso in the shop, and needless to say, sold out very quickly indeed, not even getting a chance to showcase it on the webshop.

The other lot we selected, and the one presented here, is equally special, but completely different in style - in fact, it is incredible to believe that both were grown on the same farm by the same people! The Java is a descendant of an ancient heirloom variety that at some point in the distant past made its way from the Yemen to Indonesia, and thence to the New World. Physically, again, we have something that looks remarkable - very oblong shaped beans, which given the excellence of the washed process used here, develop a handsome, dark, clean and shiny (but not oily!) look even at a very light roast. However, it is the cup profile of this lot that has blown us away and given customers in the shop a huge surprise, for this low-grown (around 1100m) Arabica from Central America exhibits all the floral and tea-like attributes of much higher-grown coffees from East Africa! When these attributes (which must be Varietal linked) combine with the sweetness and body inherent in Nicaraguan coffees, you get something very special indeed: a honey-like sweetness and mouthfeel, complemented by a layer of fine oolong tea and florals like acacia and jasmine, with a refreshing tropical green fruit finish on the cool.

Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified.

Special thanks to Stuart Ritson and Cafe Imports for facilitating the Direct Trade with Santa Rita.