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Nicaragua – Los Cielitos
Nicaragua – Los Cielitos
Nicaragua – Los Cielitos
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Nicaragua – Los Cielitos

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  • Country – Nicaragua
  • Region – Ocotal
  • Farm – Los Cielitos
  • Varietal – Red Catuai
  • Process – Honey
  • Cup Score – 86.5
  • Altitude – 1300 – 1760 masl

Tasting notes:

Fig, raspberry, peach and mango, notes of caramel and chocolate, good body

Farm Overview: 

Los Cielitos, as the name "The Skies" suggests, is located near the top of Cerro Mogoton, close to the highest point in Nicaragua, at an altitude of up to 1.700 m, and cover an area of 16 manzanas of which only 8 are dedicated to grow coffee. On cloudy days, at this elevation, the farm is situated above the clouds. The farm is difficult to access as there isn;t any proper road; during the harvest, the bags need to be carried by the pickers for approximately one km to reach the nearest gravel road for further transportation to the dry mill. Doña Johanna and her two sons manage the farm, since 2014 the year in which the family acquired the farm, they made a lot of renovations including the addition of new varieties trying to replace old catimor trees with catuai, caturra and maracaturra varieties. The sons are both agronomists and apply updated good agriculture practices. They have started recently to experiment with anaerobic fermentation processes. Coffee is grown under shade of guava, various fruit trees and pine trees and there is a big array of wildlife on the farms including squirrels, deer, agoutis, and many type of birds.After the coffee is harvested, it is partially processed at the farm and then taken to Cafetos de Segovia in Ocotal. Cafetos de Segovia is a dry mill located in Ocotal and surrounded by coffee land, making it easy for producers to deliver the wet parchment the same day as they harvest and process it. In 2015, a local producer family realised that the prices paid for coffee cherries in the region were too low and that they could produce high-quality coffee on their own farm. They decided to create a dry mill to add value to their product, and that mill is now run by sisters Martha and Ana, along with their team. The family own a few farms that were inherited from Martha and Ana’s father. Like many properties in the area (in the north, bordering Honduras), the story of the farms’ ownership is a complex one. From 1975-1979 the Nicaraguan revolution hit the entire country, but it was even more intense at the Honduran border, forcing the family to emigrate to the USA. They returned to Ocotal six years later to find that their house and much of their farmland had been seized by the government. Only the house was returned to them – they had lost more than 100 manzanas (70ha) of coffee farm. The dry mill services their farms and greenhouse – which they built in 2020 to grow experimental lots and more delicate varieties – but also the coffee of some relatives and a few non-related producers from the area. In total, 47 other producers work with Cafetos de Segovia. During peak harvest, up to 300 quintales per day is delivered to the mill, which has a drying capacity of 3,000 quintales at any one time (1 quintal = approximately 46kg green beans). Up to 30 people work at the mill during the season. Most of the coffee is delivered as wet parchment or cherries and 80% of the lots are washed. The drying is usually started on a patio, in the shade for 5-6 days and then in full sun. All patios are covered with black net so that the coffee is not laid directly on the floor. Shade drying is necessary as the sun hits hard at this lower altitude (less than 900masl). The naturals are moved every 3-4 hours and the coffee is piled during the hottest hours of the day. Cafetos de Segovia submits lots to the national Cup of Excellence every year, and always ranks highly.